Traffic Woes Impacted by Sunset Lane Closure
Traffic is always heavy on Sunset Boulevard on school days between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. in Pacific Palisades. This is hardly surprising, given that the following schools are dismissing thousands of students in the Village area: Palisades Charter High School (almost 3,000 students), Palisades Elementary (about 510 students), Corpus Christi (about 250 students), Village School (about 290 students) and Seven Arrows (about 140 students).
Additional school/public buses return westbound with kids from Paul Revere Middle School (enrollment is about 2,150), plus Brentwood School and Archer School for Girls.
Parents also drive west on Sunset to pick up kids at St. Matthew’s (350 students), Calvary Christian (about 420 students) and Westside Waldorf School (230 students).
So, it’s infuriating when there’s a lane closure on Sunset, which can back up traffic as far as Will Rogers State Historic Park or even further to the east.
On Monday this week, a Circling the News subscriber sent pictures and noted, “Caruso’s Palisades Village gridlocks traffic again.” The photos were taken about 3:20 p.m, and the reader said, “A lane closure at Caruso’s Village [by Sunset and Swarthmore] during school dismissal results in westbound traffic backing up to Chautauqua.
“Alphabet Streets are inundated with cut-through traffic as Palisadians and commuters look for alternative routes,” the reader wrote, and asked readers to contact Councilman Mike Bonin and ask why work is being done on Sunset during rush hour.
This has been an ongoing problem for residents. After months of enduring a lane closure on westbound Sunset between Swarthmore and Monument, residents thought with the opening of Caruso’s Village in September, life would eventually return to normal.
After all, the traffic impact report, from Caruso’s own traffic study, said there would be no discernible impact.
And during the Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting on February 25, 2016, the following motion was proposed: “Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) recognizes that the City has determined, based on substantial traffic and other environmental studies, that the Palisades Village Project (the “Project”) will have no unmitigated significant impacts. PPCC also acknowledges community concerns that, as with any project of similar size built within an existing neighborhood village, issues warranting attention may arise on an ongoing basis. PPCC therefore supports adoption of the Mitigated Negative Declaration, provided that a new Village Project Committee is established under the auspices of Council District 11, to assess and address issues that may arise during construction and eventual Project operations. Such a committee should consist of one representative each from the applicant, Council District 11, the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce and PPCC, and an area resident (to be appointed by Council District 11).”
Because of a deadline for submissions to the City, the PPCC executive committee approved the motion without the full council because the “majority of the comments were favorable.”
One member of the community took a photo of traffic boxes that Caruso’s people placed at eight intersections in town on March 1, 2016. The reader said that the results of that study were never released.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (213) 473-7011 or Bonin’s West L.A. office (310) 575-8461. Or contact your Pacific Palisades Community Council area representative (pacpali.org) and ask them to ensure that lanes on Sunset are kept open during rush hour.