Take Down the Illegal Sign, Mr. Caruso
“Why is traffic being denied entry to the alley off Monument Street?” a reader wrote Circling the News on October 25.
The alleyway (starting across from Bashford and connecting to Swarthmore) is supposed to be two-way, according to City documents, and not blocked off with white sticks and a sign that says, “Do Not Enter.”
According to Caruso’s Mitigated Negative Declaration, which the City approved, the alley [called Palisades Village Lane by Caruso] would be turned over to Caruso for maintenance and was to be a two-way alley.
Swarthmore, which used to be two-way from Sunset over to Monument, was converted to one-way from the alley to Monument by Caruso, with only a right-hand turn allowed at Monument.
The intent seemed to be two-fold: (1) divert Swarthmore traffic away from the Alphabet Streets (and thus discourage traffic on Swarthmore in Palisades Village), and (2) people looking for a parking space at Palisades Village could drive down Monument and turn right onto the alleyway to enter the parking garage.
A third consequence is the fact people traveling westbound on Sunset and turning right on Monument, who hope to park in Palisades Village, cannot do so, and thus find themselves on residential streets.
Bottom line: All cars going into the Palisades Village garage must turn right off Swarthmore.
A resident pointed out that because the alley is closed to two-way traffic off Monument, people will take a left (or right) onto Bashford and look for parking in residential streets.
“This creates hunting for parking spaces in residential areas, or ‘circling’ the development until parking or entry to the lot is made off Swarthmore off Sunset Boulevard,” the resident wrote Circling the News.
According to page 34 of the Mitigated Negative Declaration: “The Project would also vacate the portion of the public alley right-of-way located between the Acquisition Parcel and the balance of the Sunset Properties and the alley running parallel to Sunset Boulevard between Swarthmore Avenue and Monument Street, though public vehicular access would be slightly modified from one-way to two-way directional circulation.”
On page 77, “Vehicular access to the subterranean parking area would be via Swarthmore Avenue and Monument Street via a proposed two-way alley running parallel to Sunset Boulevard in the same location as the current alley, which is currently a one-way street. This conversion to a two-way alley will improve circulation because it will disperse vehicle trips in both directions and avoid channeling all trips to one intersection.”
On page 235, “Under the Project, this alley would be converted from a one-way alley to a two-way alley, which would further enhance the accessibility of the parking garage.”
On page 243, “Furthermore, upon implementation of the Project, the existing vehicular alley, which is currently a one-way alley, would be converted to a two-way alley. This would allow for increased access to the Project Site, as well as increased mobility through the Project Site. For these reasons,[traffic] impacts would be less than significant.”
And on page 312-313, “Access to the subterranean parking structure will be provided from the existing alley located north of Sunset Boulevard between Swarthmore Avenue and Monument Street. This alley currently operates as a one-way eastbound roadway but will be converted into a two-way roadway between Swarthmore Avenue and Monument Street. The intersections with Swarthmore Avenue and Monument Street will both be full-movement intersections.”
We contacted Caruso’s spokesperson Mary Fontamillas and Palisades Village Project Director Michael Gazzano on October 25 and asked, “When does Caruso plan to take the barrier down on Monument (off Bashford), so that cars traveling south on Monument may turn into the alley to access parking?”
There has been no response.
The City was contacted on October 31 to see if Caruso had obtained a permit to close a lane. L.A. City Street Investigation said there was no permit to close a lane of the alleyway.