BRENTWOOD—Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin has secured $2 million in federal funding for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to improve traffic congestion on Sunset Boulevard near the I-405 Freeway.
Earlier this year, Bonin launched the Sunset Traffic Improvement Initiative – an effort to reduce gridlock on Sunset Boulevard. Transportation experts hosted a workshop in February to educate community members on the causes of traffic congestion; feedback and online surveys collected from residents and community leaders located near Sunset Boulevard helped guide the finalized solution to the problem.
“This is one of the worst traffic congestion hotspots in the city, and I refuse to believe that it cannot be improved,” said Bonin on the 11th District website. “My Sunset Traffic Improvement Initiative relies on the creativity and collaboration of Brentwood neighbors and we are moving forward with their ideas to make life a little better for everyone who has to navigate this frustrating stretch of road.”
According to officials, community feedback led to a solution that includes lane restriping and signal coordination. LADOT has already completed the lane restriping design and submitted it to Caltrans for review and approval. The plan includes additional access lanes at the Sunset and 405 intersection on eastbound Sunset to both the 405 North and 405 South.
The new signal coordination will be adjusted to allow cars to move more consistently. “The eastbound signal at Barrington Place on Sunset, which once turned green at the same time as Barrington Avenue to the west, now does so five seconds earlier to allow cars in between Barrington Avenue and Place to clear the roadway, allowing more cars to pass through eastbound crossing over Barrington Avenue,” said Bonin in a statement.
Bonin also introduced legislation for LADOT to investigate creating a reversible lane to add capacity to Sunset without needing to widen the road; Sunset is busiest heading westbound in the morning and eastbound in the evening, so the lane could be switched directions when traffic is worst, Bonin said.
The aforementioned project is a proposal the community has rejected in the past, and it would include installing temporary or permanent barriers, traffic lights and street signs to notify drivers which lanes are open.
“These are just a few of the wide variety of suggestions and improvements we are working on to relieve traffic on Sunset Boulevard,” Bonin said. “We will continue partnering with neighbors and local institutions to make progress toward improving the flow of traffic on Sunset.”
When developing the initiative to resolve traffic congestion at this intersection, other alternative solutions from the community were considered, including:
- Adding traffic control officers
- Improving lane signage to make it less confusing for drivers
- Using technology to calculate the best timing for the lights that allow cars to drive from the on-ramp to the freeway
- Restricting turn movement
In addition to the Sunset Traffic Improvement Initiative, local institutions have formed the Sunset Educational Corridor Association, which is intended to provide and coordinate transportation services in the Brentwood area, including ride-sharing and joint shuttles. Funding for the LADOT will become formally available in early 2017, according to officials.