Traffic slows on Rossmore after striping

| March 30, 2023 | 0 Comments

DASHED STRIPES were added on Rossmore Avenue recently to help reduce speeding.

Increased speeds led to new lane striping

In February, without warning, residents of Rossmore Avenue found their street painted with new traffic mitigation lines, including dashed stripes indicating spaces for driveway access.

“The new traffic lines on Rossmore were added as a design feature to reduce speeding, which is a major concern of mine and many residents in the community,” explains Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky, who represents Council District 5, where the striping occurred. “In Los Angeles last year, we had 312 individuals who died from traffic violence. These design features make our streets safer for pedestrians and for other drivers by discouraging dangerous behavior that puts our lives at risk.”

Kim Huffman Cary, a 25-year Rossmore resident, has observed that the city seems to install traffic safety measures after a fatality occurs and wonders if that was the genesis of the lane striping. “There was a terrible accident recently,” she remembers. “A car chipped trash cans, chipped cars, all the way down Rossmore. A passenger was killed.”

She is referring to a fatal one-car accident that occurred on Rossmore late on Oct. 27, 2022. KTLA5 News reported that a car had “sideswiped multiple parked vehicles, then ran into a tree” near the Wilshire Country Club property south of Beverly Boulevard in the 200 block of North Rossmore. A passenger was ejected from the vehicle, and the driver was killed.

The accident occurred north of where the striping begins at Beverly, but apparently cars parked all along Rossmore regularly get sideswiped or have their side-view mirrors damaged.

“Our visitors had their mirrors knocked off.  One of our cars was creamed out there one night,” according to Ben Whitwell of South Rossmore.

Whitwell has noticed an improvement since the stripes arrived, noting, “Fewer people are pretending it’s a two-lane [each way] street. It feels like it would be safer to park.”

Huffman Cary has also noticed a change in traffic. “The lines have been effective at slowing traffic,” which she especially appreciates given that, in her estimation, people had been driving more erratically since the pandemic closures. Huffman Cary still worries about turning left across traffic into her driveway, however, since cars had swerved around her and hit her side mirror in the past, and she doesn’t see how the new lines help with that. She would have liked to see a middle turn lane added.

Marlborough School is facing a different traffic challenge. “We love the idea of making things safer,” states Matt Riddle, director of facilities and capital planning at the school. “But we noticed the first morning after the striping was put in that it’s actually worse for us.”

Riddle explains that the wider center lines with traffic-slowing bulges take space away from their school bus parking zones, making it especially dangerous as cars zip by even closer to the buses than before. “Our bus drivers had trouble getting out of their buses,” Riddle states.

Marlborough invited members of the city’s Dept. of Transportation to observe the problem, and the DOT officials suggested a solution.  Soon the striping will return to its previous configuration in front of the school, but bollards will be strategically placed to define traffic versus bus areas. “We are really pleased with their suggestion,” states Riddle. “We’re hoping it’s a win-win.”

Cindy Chvatal-Keane, president of the Hancock Park Homeowners Association and chair of the Transportation Committee of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, reiterates that the lane striping is meant to slow traffic. “We saw an increase in accidents due to speed,” she explains, noting the too-common danger of a speeding car hitting something and flipping over.

“Any kind of slowing was the mission,” Chvatal-Keane asserts. “The good news is the city is paying attention.”   

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Category: News

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