Eyes on the Street: West Hollywood’s Pilot Willoughby Neighborhood Greenway
The cities of West Hollywood and Los Angeles have collaborated on a pilot project to make Willoughby Avenue safer for people walking and bicycling. While the pilot is a decent step in a healthy livable direction, its effectiveness has been undermined by scofflaw drivers.
Check out the Willoughby project tomorrow at a ride hosted by the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition. Meet at the Poinsettia Park, at the corner of Willoughby and Fuller Avenues, at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday June 1.
Willoughby is a fairly dense residential street running east-west midway between major east-west arterials: Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. The street sees fairly high volumes of car traffic cutting through the neighborhood – as well as decent volumes of people on foot and on bike. Calming streets like this has been done in various cities under various names: neighborhood greenways, bicycle boulevards, bike-friendly streets, etc. These types of projects don’t remove all cars from any street, but calm and divert cars in order to better prioritize walking and bicycling.
According to the WeHo City project webpage, the “Willoughby Ave, Kings Rd, and Vista/Gardner Street Design Project” seeks to make these streets more comfortable and inviting for people walking and biking of all ages and abilities. The page includes a zippy explainer video overviewing Neighborhood Greenways and the project itself. The website allows people to give project feedback via an online form – and invites the public to two upcoming virtual community workshops:
June 7 from 5:30-7 p.m. and June 11 9:30-11 a.m. Update: meetings postponed to August 25 at 5:30 p.m. and August 27 at 9:30 a.m.
The initial phase of the Willoughby project includes three features:
- A diverter at Ogden Drive. Eastbound cyclists can continue east at Ogden, while eastbound drivers have a ‘right turn only.’
- Corner curb extensions at Spaulding Avenue.
- A mini-roundabout at Curson Avenue.
Streetsblog got a chance to tour the Willoughby Avenue Neighborhood Greenway facility earlier this month.
During Streetsblog’s visit to the site, a majority of eastbound drivers broke traffic law to continue straight through the intersection.
The number of drivers illegally proceeding straight ahead at @WeHoCity’s diverter at Willoughby/Ogden is disappointing pic.twitter.com/lfBgGZbB47
— StreetsblogLA (@StreetsblogLA) May 16, 2022