Early Tuesday morning, the Sunset Triangle Plaza was the victim of a hit and run crash. A driver plowed into a parked car and some of the plastic planters on the east end of the park. The result: no injuries but one very messy park. The LAPD arrived on the scene, Councilman Garcetti vowed the cleanup would be fast, and by the mid-afternoon the crash was just a memory.
Except to the commenters at Eastsider, the website that broke the story. A handful of angry commenters decided that the cause of the crash was Sunset Triangle Plaza and not the hit-and-run driver. A sample:
This has not happened there before. No sooner is this street closed than we have such an accident. Points up how poorly considered this is. Unnecessarily mixing pedestrians into the middle of the flow of motorized traffic is not a bright idea — clearly it is dangerous. That certainly is why it was not done when originally built.
So it was the plaza’s fault? Here are two quick notes on the crash itself, and the level of dissonance it takes to blame the plaza and not the driver.
First, according to LAPD reports, the hit and run driver actually collided with a parked car before entering the plaza. The driver was so inattentive or impaired that he/she missed seeing a parked car before driving into it. The damage to the plaza was collateral damage to the hit and run crash.
Second, the plaza was built because pedestrians crossing Griffith Park Blvd. on Sunset just north of Maltman were taking their lives into their own hands. This crash proves that this area of road is still a dangerous place, but not because of the plaza.
Remember, Sunset Triangle Plaza is a temporary project, to be reviewed next year. If the city decides to make the park permanent, those plastic planters could be replaced by something a little tougher. In other words, next year it won’t be quite so easy to run when a planter is hit head-on.