(Update: I got a little confused by the motion. It will shut down through traffic on Yucca Street in Hollywood, between Las Palmas Ave. and Whitley Ave. Cars are permitted, through traffic is blocked. Curbed found me out. – DN)
In 1995, the City of Los Angeles installed some temporary traffic diverters at three intersections along Yucca Street to keep vehicular traffic and discourage other illegal activities that were too common-place such as drug dealing. They closed the intersections with concrete bollards and later with attachable plastic traffic bollards. Over the years, the experiment has been a success. Crime rates on Yucca have dropped off while people-powered transportation has flourished.
View Yucca Street in a larger map
Seventeen years later, Councilmen Eric Garcetti and Tom LaBonge want to finally make the closures permanent while creating a more inviting place for cyclists and pedestrians. The concrete bollards at the intersections of Yucca and Las Palmas, Cherokee, and Whitley Avenues has degraded creating a community eye sore and the temporary plastic ones are so beat up that in some cases drivers go right over them without even realizing that they are there.
The Councilmen hope that making the closure permanent, and working with the LADOT they can create more attractive and permanent ways to keep car traffic from using Yucca. When pressed as to why they’re proposing to make the “temporary” closure permanent now, after 17 years of “temporary,” staff pointed to the poor shape of the bollards, a desire to improve the look of the three intersections, and a chance to make sure the intersections and Yucca Street work as a bicycle corridor.
For cyclists, Yucca Street already includes sharrows from Cahuenga Boulevard to Vine Street as part of a north-south bikeway connector. LADOT plans to create an east-west arm of this connector on Yucca Street by extending the Sharrows west to Highland Avenue. Staff for Garcetti believe this will create a comfortable corridor for bicyclists who wish to avoid busy Hollywood Boulevard and Franklin Avenue.
The City Council Transportation Committee will hear this motion as part of the regular meeting on Wednesday. Streetsblog will follow-up on this story as it moves forward.