Sunday, May 24, 2009

Victorious! For now. . . Plan to widen Sunset Boulevard in Brentwood is halted

Responding to widespread community opposition, Los Angeles city traffic officials have aborted the project to add an extra eastbound lane.

By Joanna Lin 
May 22, 2009
Los Angeles city traffic officials have abruptly dropped a plan to widen congested Sunset Boulevard in Brentwood after the proposal generated widespread community outcry.

The controversy underscores the challenges traffic planners face in attempting to improve traffic flow -- even in notoriously clogged areas such as the Westside. City officials say this stretch of Sunset is one of the most congested in the region.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation last month proposed adding one eastbound lane on Sunset, from Barrington Avenue to Gunston Drive, about a 0.4-mile stretch. Officials had asked the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to fund about $4 million of the project's estimated $6.1-million price tag.

The DOT shelved the project at the request of Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes Brentwood. Rosendahl said he initially supported the department's funding application because he believed the money would not be restricted to a specific road proposal. But Rosendahl said he learned the money would be limited to widening Sunset Boulevard, a proposal to which there was "tremendous opposition."


The homeowners association, along with the Bel-Air Assn., in 2004 commissioned traffic consulting firm Linscott Law and Greenspan to conduct a study of congestion on Sunset Boulevard. One of the study's conclusions was that an additional eastbound lane on the road could ease gridlock.

Hunt said the proposed lane would decrease delay time by an estimated 39% in the morning and 50% in the evening in the 0.4-mile zone.
The time estimates were based on pending changes to the 405 Freeway, including a reconfigured Sunset Boulevard overpass and on and off ramps. Construction for the Sunset project would have begun after the 405 Freeway changes were complete, Hunt said.

But many Westside residents said the cause of congestion is the 405, not Sunset.

"We could put 18 lanes on Sunset Boulevard, but if cars can't get on the 405, there's still going to be a backup," said David Heldman, whose Brentwood Glen home is adjacent to the Sunset overpass.

CLICK HERE for the Complete LA TIMES Article

No word on whether the potentially devastating Westbound Sunset cross-traffic 405 on-ramps are still on the table. . .


Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?