Susan Grossman has lived near Rossmore Avenue since 1984, a street, she said, that has become more dangerous to navigate year after year.
“[Traffic on Rossmore Avenue has] increased exponentially, and it seems like it doubles every six months now,” she said. “[The Melrose Avenue intersection at Rossmore Avenue] is gridlocked half the time. I don’t know if there are any great solutions.”
Grossman is a member of the Hancock Park Homeowners Association (HPHA), and she said many association members use the intersection at Rossmore Avenue and Clinton Street to access at their homes — specifically making left turns at the intersection.
“To be honest, I don’t use them,” Grossman said. “I think they are too dangerous. I’ve had too many near misses. A lot of my neighbors do, though.”
In the near future, the intersection of Rossmore Avenue and Clinton Street will be changed by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), which has been working with residents in the area, along with the 4th District Council Office.
“We had some residents voicing concerns and complaints about accidents at the location,” said Bhuvan Bajaj, LADOT transportation engineering associate in the Hollywood/Wilshire district office.
Bajaj said his engineering team looked into the numbers at the intersection. Because of the way traffic accidents are tabulated, they were only able to acquire numbers through 2012. On Rossmore Avenue, there were two reported vehicle accidents in the five years prior to 2012 and none occurred in southbound lanes, and each statistic was for left turns. The statistics showed five accidents involving vehicles traveling westbound on Clinton Street that were going through the intersection or turning left. Bajaj said those numbers showed there was a pattern with westbound traffic on Clinton Street, although the numbers were not unusually high.
“At the end of the day, for northbound and southbound left turns [on Rossmore Avenue], no decision was made for modifications,” he said.
However, in a move to be proactive on community concerns, LADOT will change westbound Clinton Street at Rossmore Avenue into a right turn only lane. LADOT originally examined banning left turns on Rossmore Avenue during peak traffic hours, or adding left turn “pockets” to the street, but decided against making any immediate changes.
“We’ve worked with the LADOT, and ultimately with the neighborhood meeting, we’ve come up with what we believe is a reasonable step,” Grossman said.
Still, she added, residents remain concerned in regards to what they perceive as major increases in traffic along Rossmore Avenue between Wilshire Boulevard and Melrose Avenue.
“With so many parked cars and trees, it’s very hard for traffic to see oncoming and cross traffic,” Grossman said. “There are a lot of car accidents.”
Grossman added that she and other residents targeted the Clinton Street intersection because many vehicles are using it to avoid heavier traffic further north at Melrose Avenue.
Melrose Avenue is scheduled to receive traffic signal upgrades, with left turn signals in all four directions scheduled for eventual installation. However, the installation is not scheduled for four years because of planning and funding needs, LADOT officials said.
“We feel like we have been asking for left turn arrows at that intersection for at least 20 years,” Grossman said.
She and other residents have requested that Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, 4th District, use his discretionary funding to move up the timetable for the Melrose Avenue traffic improvements.
Bajaj said LADOT will be studying pedestrian crosswalk data at the intersection of Rossmore Avenue and Clinton Street, and he added that the department is also gathering newer traffic volume data for the area.
Grossman said she and other residents would also continue to monitor the traffic situation.
“We’re not a sleepy little neighborhood anymore,” Grossman said.
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