Brake Lights at Midnight

I wanted to follow up on my earlier post about two proposed projects, one at Highland and Selma and the other at Highland and Franklin. Together these developments will bring over four hundred new residential units to an already crowded corridor. But the problem isn’t just on Highland. As anybody who lives in the area knows, traffic on Franklin is also pretty damn bad. Highland is a major thoroughfare that is primarily commercial north of Melrose. From Highland to Cahuenga, Franklin is completely residential, and has only one lane running in each direction.

Twenty years ago, this was not a problem. These days, though, Franklin is carrying much more traffic than it was designed for. In an earlier post (Hell on Highland, October 25), I talked about the night Katy Perry played the Hollywood Bowl, and traffic was backed up all the way to the freeway. That’s by far the worst I’ve even seen on Franklin. But check out these photos of a couple other traffic jams I witnessed lately. These were both taken at the intersection of Franklin and Whitley….

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The photo above shows traffic heading toward Cahuenga. And this next one…

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…shows traffic coming from the direction of Highland. Locals looking at these pictures are probably saying, Big deal. It’s always like that at rush hour. But these weren’t taken at rush hour. These were taken around twelve thirty am. A car had stalled near Grace, and a steady flow of westbound traffic kept drivers from getting around it.

Now check these out.

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This was taken just before eight o’ clock on a Saturday morning as I was coming up on Whitley. And this next one…

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…was taken as I was approaching Las Palmas. Pretty nasty for a Saturday morning. Now in this case, one of the left turn lanes at Highland was closed. Not sure why, but it may have had something to do with the fact that Hollywood was closed at Highland that morning.

Now in all three cases I’ve mentioned, there are unusual circumstances that caused the back-up. A concert at the Bowl, a stalled car, a closed lane. But it shows that it doesn’t take much to turn this residential street into a sea of brake lights. Franklin is already carrying way beyond the capacity it was designed for. It amazes me not only that the city wants to add to the congestion, but that they have determined that the two new complexes mentioned above will have no significant negative impacts.

Again, if you disagree with the city’s finding, if you think Franklin is maxed out as it is, please let the City Council know how you feel.

LA City Council

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