Garcetti, LaBonge Want Car Free Yucca Street

(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.

  • Guest

    All traffic diverters should be designed to allow bicyclists to pass through. But west of Cahuenga, Yucca is useless as a bikeway. Yucca runs just south of the 101 Freeway and steep hills, so has no “catchment” area to the north; it is analogous to putting the Century City subway stop next to the golf course on Santa Monica Blvd. Heading west from Cahuenga, Yucca makes a left turn at Grace and then a jog at Whitley.  At Highland, while you can see Hollywood/Highland right across the street, you can’t there. Traffic must turn right on Highland, and there is no crosswalk.
    Do LaBonge and Garcetti actually think that bicyclists will go out of their way to ride on a short, hilly, discontinuous street that dumps them onto a 60000-ADT street?
    If they want to do right by bicyclists in Hollywood, they would convert Selma/Hawthorn into a bike-friendly street.  That provides good bike access to Hollywood High School, Hollywood/Vine, Hollywood/Highland, the Arclight, Hollywood Farmers Market, the Bally’s on El Centro, the LA Fitness at Hollywood/Sycamore (both of which attract bicyclists), Trader Joe’s, and everything else on Hollywood and Sunset.         

  • Mmatasc

    Close them both! I live on yucca… I am curious how would my wife park her car in yucca is closed to traffic (our buildings lot is on yucca).

  • John

    By just looking at the map, isn’t it possible to make a bikeway on Yucca connect to Franklin (connecting via Las Palmas), and allow bicyclists to go straight across Highland at the intersection of Franklin and Highland?  If that is done, it looks like the bikeway could go as far east as Gower.  While it isn’t ideal for collecting traffic, it’d be safer to ride than most of the streets in the area.

  • Dan

    Good idea. Now car after car after car makes illegal u-turns on Cherokee to bypass the broken down barricades. Making the barricades permanent might cut down on this.

  • Mile333

    There are those of us that would like to see a LaBonge and Garcetti free LA.

  • ReWriteMan62

    I agree the bollards are an embarrassment to the neighborhood. I may be in the minority, but given the intense traffic congestion during Bowl season, the Oscars, the Marathon, etc. I’d hoped that cars would be given through access again. Or, close Yucca at the east Whitley dog-leg to restrict crossing but keeping access for the garage entrance on the west Whitley-Yucca section. 


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