Four weeks ago, drivers accustomed to decades of relatively free-flowing traffic on Bundy Drive between Montana Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard literally stopped in their tracks.
Without any public notification, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation installed two new stop signs on Bundy at Mayfield Avenue to create a four-way stopâ€”and, at times, a serious traffic jam.
Several Brentwood residents, including Brentwood Community Council members, have already approached the office of 11th District Councilmember, Bill Rosendahl, to request removal of the stop signs and to initiate a holistic community discussion about that stretch of Bundy.
At busy times, traffic now slows so that every car comes to a complete stop. Traffic has been observed to back up as far south as Wilshire, thus creating a traffic jam on one of the Westside’s few free-flowing streets.
Neither LADOT nor the Council office notified the community that LADOT was considering installing the stop signs. After-the-fact inquiries from members of the Brentwood Community Council revealed a June 26, 2012 LADOT â€œDetermination Noticeâ€ referring to a study and approval of the stop signs. The notice indicates that Motti Mastour, a resident on Mayfield, had requested that DOT study measures to curb alleged speeding on Bundy. It is not known whether any other stakeholders in the community supported Mastour’s request.
DOT contends that this sort of intervention does not require public input or even notification.
The Determination Notice offers several justifications for the installation of the stop signs. They include the following:
â€¢ â€œBundy Drive extends for 3,067 feetâ€¦without any stop controlâ€¦.[and] an unimpeded route of unacceptable length.â€
â€¢ â€œBundy Drive and Mayfield Avenue are both residential streets of similar design and operating characteristics.â€
â€¢ â€œAll-way stop controlâ€¦will help complement the existing stop sign pattern within this residential neighborhood.â€
While some residents have said they appreciate easier left turns off of Mayfield and pedestrian crossings of Bundy (though the four-way stop is not accompanied by crosswalks), a seeming majority of residents throughout Brentwood are concerned not only by the traffic that the stop signs have created but also by the opaque process by which they were approved. BCC members and constituents have raised the following concerns, among others:
â€¢ Though Bundy technically is a secondary road, it acts as a de facto artery serving a geographic area extending as far west as 26th Street and all the way up Kenter, Bundy, and Mandeville canyons.
â€¢ Barrington has a similarly long stretch between San Vicente and Wilshire, while Bundy/Kenter itself runs unimpeded between San Vicente and Sunset.
â€¢ DOT cites no evidence of unusually high rates of speeding, nor does it cite any accidents that have occurred due to speeding or any other cause.
â€¢ Even a cursory glance at Bundy and Mayfield reveals that the streets are in no way similar; Mayfield is strictly a local residential street whereas Bundy is a large artery, with many times more traffic, that happens to have houses on it.
Though DOT contends that the four-way stop will curb speeding, it fails to discuss its impact on community-wide traffic patterns and neglects to consider any alternative methods of traffic calming.
The BCC will continue to pursue this matter and receive input from stakeholders.
Josh Stephens is the multi-family representative on the Brentwood Community Council; he sits on the BCC’s Land Use Committee. The analysis and reporting herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the BCC or any of its members.