Monthly Archives: March 2024

Willoughby, Vista/Gardner and Kings Street Design

West Hollywood’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan (2017) identified Willoughby Avenue, Kings Road and Vista-Gardner Streets as providing a missing link in the City’s existing bike network.  The cities of West Hollywood and Los Angeles have proposed making these streets more comfortable and inviting for people of all ages and abilities who choose to walk and bike.

The City Council will be voting this Monday on March 18, 2024 on a Concept Plan to improve Willoughby Avenue. Click here to find out how you can help!

What’s there now: 
Willoughby is a narrow residential street with significant cut-through traffic from nearby Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue. Because of this, there’s twice as much traffic on Willoughby as there is on the nearest blocks – Romaine and Waring. This traffic can be especially dangerous given the parks, schools, and homes on Willoughby. 

What’s proposed: 
The city is recommending that several steps be taken to slow down and discourage cut-through traffic on Willoughby between Kings Road and Vista/Gardner Street. Some notable recommendations:

  • Improvements to every intersection along this portion of Willoughby including either traffic circles with green space or widened sidewalks with green space at the corners of intersections (called “curb extensions” or “bulb outs”).
  • Enhanced school crosswalks at Laurel, Edinburgh and Hayworth Avenues.
  • Speed humps with bicycle cut outs all along Willoughby Avenue.
  • Shared road markings (“sharrows”) on the street itself to show motorists that this is a lane that bikes and scooters use.
  • Bike crossing push buttons and in-ground bike detectors at Crescent Heights Blvd. and Fairfax Avenue.

There are also recommendations for Vista/Gardner Streets and Kings Road:

At Kings Road – Creating a widened sidewalk (bulb out) at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard, and bike crossing push buttons and in-ground bike detectors on both streets where they intersect Santa Monica Boulevard.

At Vista/Gardner Streets – In addition to signage and some streetscape improvements, there are two options for bike lanes that city staff have proposed:

  • Option 1ACreating parking-protected bike lanes on Vista/Gardner from Willoughby all the way to Fountain Avenue. This is hands down the best option in our opinion because it would provide a safe, protected bike lane from Willoughby all the way up to the bike lanes being proposed on Fountain Avenue.
  • Option 1B – Creating parking-protected bike lanes on Vista/Gardner from Willoughby to Lexington, and then ending the bike lane and routing bikes into the traffic lane where there will be signs painted on the street (“sharrows”) indicating that bikes will also be using the traffic lane. This is dangerous and potentially confusing both cyclists and the cars on the road who might not realize the bike lane has ended. Let’s do this right and create the additional two blocks of bike lanes needed to create a truly connected bike network for this corridor.

(Note: This is a partial list of the proposals. For the full concept plan, click here.)

In addition to the staff recommendations, we have some additional recommendations of our own we’d like the city to implement to really make the street safe for all users…

  1. A traffic diverter at Fairfax and Willoughby. This would divert the cut-through traffic at its source, and would be similar to diverters that have already been successfully installed on Fairfax Avenue south of Wilshire on Warner Drive and on Del Valle Drive. We believe WeHo residents on Willoughby deserve this same consideration and access to safe streets. 
  2. Green-back street markings (“sharrows”) on the road so that cars can more easily see them and know that they’re traveling on a road that has bikes, scooters, and significant other non-car traffic.

What’s next?

  • The West Hollywood City Council is expected to vote on these recommendations at their next meeting on March 18, 2024. This is an incredibly important meeting where the City Council will need to hear your support! Click here to find out how you can help!
  • Once that plan is approved, it will go to Public Works/Engineering for the design and construction phase. 

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Monday, March 18, 2024 at 6:00 p.m.
WeHo Council Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard