Around 6:30am on Wednesday, December 19th, a driver hit two pedestrians near Anne Darling Elementary school. One woman was sent to the hospital, suffering life-threatening injuries.
If you were trying to get home for the dodger game on October 23rd, you have been stuck in some horrendous traffic. In Agoura Hills, a World War II mock fighter plane crash landed on the 101 freeway, bringing all northbound and southbound lanes to a standstill. While Firefighters arrived on scene at 1:50 p.m., all lanes on the 101 freeway were re-opened before 6 p.m. At this time, it remains unclear if fire fighters rescued the pilot or the pilot self-extricated following the crash. Regardless, nobody was injured in the incident, despite the fiery crash. Details regarding who the pilot is or how they lost control of the plane have not yet been released.
While Los Angeles city council has established a set of regulations for shared electric scooter and the city of Santa Monica has initiated its trial period, Loyola Marymount University has tried to form its own regulations. Prior to the first meeting of its committee dedicated to determining the safe use of shared electric scooters, the University has temporarily banned shared scooters campus wide. The committee meeting was first scheduled for October 5th, yet no change in policy has been announced. Hampton Cantrell, Chief of the Department of Public Safety at Loyola Marymount explained that, "Safety is our top priority. We want to make sure campus safety can be maintained before issuing a final policy."
On Sunday October 14th, all southbound traffic came to a screeching halt following a massive bus accident. Of the 40 victims injured in the accident, 25 were taken to local hospitals via ambulance and 5 injured victims were taken in critical condition. When the bus came to rest, it was positioned across 4 lanes of traffic. Additionally, the collision had removed a section of the cement median separating southbound from northbound traffic. All southbound lanes were restored shortly after the debris had been removed from the freeway.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has proposed bike lanes to a stretch of Winnetka Avenue with hopes of connecting bike paths and neighborhoods. With proponents and opponents of the bike lane additions vocal on the matter, Los Angeles Department of Transportation has remained open to suggestion. While proponents claim that Los Angeles communities need to recognize cyclists as having equal access to the road, opponents cite the traffic in morning commutes. Currently, the bike path ends short of the LA River Bike path as well as Pierce College and the Orange Line. Additionally, LADOT has considered adding a controlled pedestrian crossing on Gilmore and Winnetka.
Connecting Westwood to Downtown Los Angeles via metro has been difficult to develop. The 720 runs the length of Wilshire but is easily clogged by heavy traffic during commute hours. In first developments, Santa Monica Boulevard was initially proposed to have a freeway component to it. While this would allow for faster car traffic, the idea was ultimately nixed. In place of the freeway however, Los Angeles Department of Transportation looks to extend the purple line to Westwood, even west of the 405. While the extensions and tunneling will be done in three phases, the last two phases are slated to be finished before the opening of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously in a 13-0 vote to set new regulations for dockless scooter companies. However, will these rules be enough to regain control over city sidewalks? To start, each company will be limited to 3,000 scooters spread out across L.A. city, except two districts with ongoing pilot programs where fleet numbers are not restricted. This will be a massive decrease in scooters for Bird as some estimate they operate over 15,000 scooters in Los Angeles alone. Companies operating in Los Angeles will be able to increase their fleet size over time by complying with regulations and operating in low income areas. Companies will be mandated to operate a 24 hour hotline for reporting unsafe or illegal behavior with their scooter. Additionally, scooters' max speed will be capped at 15 miles per hour.
After shutting down operations in protest of an unfavorable city council decision, Bird and Lime were selected for the exclusive pilot program in Santa Monica. Jump, Lyft, Lime and Bird will now be allowed to operate a limited number of scooters during the pilot program. Lime and Bird will operate 750 scooter each while Uber and Jump will operate 250 scooters. The number of scooters each company can operate can increase over time as the scooters prove to be handled responsibly. Whether or not these numbers will be too low to prove effective or too high to make a difference in public safety remains to be seen.
Kazumasa Nozaki was killed in a hit and run collision near the Annenberg Community Beach House on PCH around 7 p.m, October 15. According to the Santa Monica Police Department, the driver who struck Nozaki left the scene of the accident, then later returned where he then questioned. Regarding what led to the death of the 23 year cyclist, Lt. Saul Rodriguez of Santa Monica PD stated, "A preliminary investigation revealed the bicyclist was riding his bicycle northbound along PCH. The involved vehicle was traveling northbound along PCH and struck the bicyclist from the rear. The driver is cooperating with the investigation and there have been no preliminary indications the driver was impaired." The accident happened after sundown so the cyclist may have not been easily seen prior to the fatal collision.
With the return of spring brings Baseball back into the hearts of fans nationwide. In Los Angeles, this means, "it's time for Dodger Baseball," as Vin Scully used to say. While the Dodgers may have started in New York, Los Angeles has been their home since 1958. Unfortunately, given the location and limited accessibility of Chavez Ravine, traffic to and from Dodger Stadium has traditionally been a nightmare for patrons of the great American past time. The lack of parking and public transit has limited pedestrian access and caused massive traffic jams in the minutes before opening pitch.