CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman told members of the Hancock Park Homeowners Association that she supports their plans for neighborhood streetscape improvements, including repairs to the area’s historic concrete sidewalks and streets, installation of handicapped-accessible ramps at street corners, tree trimming, a request to keep all existing stop signs in place, and the neighborhood’s long-standing opposition to adding traffic signals at intersections on 4th Street at Highland and Rossmore Avenues.
In a Zoom call with two dozen residents, including HPHOA board members, Raman went through the neighborhood’s proposal, listing all the areas where she supports the neighborhood’s plan for improvements.
Hancock Park residents asked Raman for the meeting and for her support of their plan to improve 4th Street after a contentious meeting in April with LADOT on its findings and recommendations for traffic signals at 4th Street and Rossmore and Highland Avenues, as part of their city-wide program called “Stress Free Connections.” At that meeting, residents told LADOT officials they strongly oppose any traffic lights at the intersections of 4th Street and Highland and Rossmore Avenues.
Raman told residents that study was a city-wide effort to find ways to make it easier for people to move around. She said it was not specific to 4th street and “it’s just a study, there is no implementation, no funding and it will not lead to specific interventions.”
Several residents criticized the LADOT study for failing to consider the impact traffic that signals at 4th Street would have on the neighborhood.
“I live at the corner of 4th and McCadden,” said Sheldon Larry, “You have to measure the impact on the people who live here.”
Larry took issue with the way Raman characterized the street as an “active transportation corridor.” “This is a residential street in a neighborhood,” he said.
Raman she said would support a study to look at the impact of signals on cars, and not just bikes, and that she would advocate to explicitly include HPHOA in any discussions with the city on that topic.
“If your intent is to do a data driven study with the community, we’d be thrilled,” said Jon Vein, a resident and member of the HPHOA board.
“This street is mostly used for recreation, but LADOT is making it part of their city-wide mobility plan,” said Cindy Chvatal-Keane, president of the HPHOA. “We really have stress on other intersections, (specifically 6th Street, 3rd Street and Beverly Blvd) and yet we continue to have this conversation about 4th Street. We would much rather have funding for street repairs, sidewalks and trees; that would be less stressful for everyone.”
“We feel that way too,” she said, acknowledging the frustration of residents at having to continually address this issue over the past decade.
“There’s no funding, there are no projects planned,” said Raman. “It’s just a study, part of a broader study of the city. The council office, LADOT and local neighborhoods will be planning the interventions, and the neighborhood will be at the center of a process.”
Clif Lord noted there haven’t been any accidents at 4th Street for the last decade, while the signalized intersections at 3rd Street and 6th street have had many accidents.
“The idea that signal-regulated intersections are safe[r] is not true,” said Lord.
4th Street and Rossmore Avenue resident Cathy Jones said she strongly opposes installing a traffic signal near her home.
“These [traffic signals] would be a violent intrusion in to our neighborhood,” said Jones, urging the Councilmember to support the neighborhood in opposing the installation of signals.
The meeting ran long, and Raman had to leave before the end of the discussion, but later provided the following statement to the Buzz:
“It was great to be able to meet with the community and hear directly from them on their concerns and vision for Fourth Street. I understand there is quite a bit of apprehension regarding the potential for bike signals and I want the community to know that my team and I will continue to support the community in their vision for creating a Fourth Street we can all be proud of.”
Neighborhood leaders told the Buzz they were pleased their efforts to engage Raman’s office were successful.
“We were very glad to read CM Nithya Raman’s written statement…’to support the neighborhood in opposing bike signals, signalization and restricted turns at Highland and 4 and Rossmore and 4th’… that will relieve a lot of “stress” on the neighborhood,” HPHOA President Cindy Chvatal-Keane told the Buzz.
4th St. is a crucial and relatively safe bikeway for cyclists trying to get across town, except for the crossings at Highland and Rossmore. This is a part of the city where there are zero bike lanes. No way for a person on a bike to get from point A from point B, except for 4th St. It is very important to protect the most vulnerable users of 4th St. with signalized crosswalks at Highland and Rossmore. How many people need to get killed before we stop listening to wealthy homeowners who don’t feel like slowing down for 5 seconds?
Give us bike lanes on some other east-west street, and we won’t ask for protection on 4th.
Can someone explain to me what makes the concrete sidewalks and streets “historic”?
Time for a road diet and protected bike lanes on 6th st then if 4th is now off the table. Believe it or not Hancock Park is just a neighborhood in Los Angeles, not some suburb in the OC. This city needs a safe way to bike from K-town to LACMA and HPHOA is holding the city hostage. Which I’m sure they are LOVING, nothing more rich homeowners love than spiting the poors.
When I think if Hancock Park, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely a tree shortage. Maybe they can take some from Vermont Ave below 50th Street and plant them in tree-poor Hancock Park.
As someone who often bikes East-West, 4th St. is the only semi-safe option for getting across that part of town. Shame on these entitled homeowners who believe their desire to never see or hear anyone on the streets outside of their mansions should trump the safety and accessibility of LA residents, and shame on Raman for humoring them when she knows better. The fact that a “bike route” crosses Highland and Rossmore without a signal is an absolute joke.