Stop at Utah, please

I want El Segundo, California, to make it safe for pedestrians to cross Douglas Avenue at Utah. Currently, the intersection has an unprotected crosswalk at its south edge. Vehicles travel through the intersection at 40 MPH or higher during rush hours and have zero expectation of stopping. Pedestrians are infrequent on this street, so the few of us that do travel on foot use the intersection at great risk.

I simply avoid crossing here. But I would prefer the intersection had an all-way stop or a traffic signal. It would be safer for me as a pedestrian, and I'd also argue it's safer for Utah traffic at rush-hour.

If you live in El Segundo, you're probably aware that two separate Douglas streets were connected a few years ago. This upgrade made Douglas a well-needed additional north-south conduit for El Segundo traffic.

Unfortunately, the traffic control on Douglas is chaotic. Notably:

  • Traffic moves uninhibited at 40 MPH (official speed limit) or higher (unofficially) between Alaska and El Segundo Blvd., the stretch that includes the intersection with Utah. In other words, traffic does not slow or stop for the Utah intersection.
  • Although the speed limit is reduced to 25 MPH at the slight curve south of Utah, it is the intersection with Alaska that has an all-way stop-sign. Clearly, it should have a stop sign. But then, so should the intersection with Utah.
  • There's a full traffic signal south of Alaska at the Green Line Metro station parking lot. This traffic signal sees way less cross-traffic than Alaska or Utah. Plus, the speed limit is 25 MPH. The signal is warranted, of course, but whatever logic yields a signal at the Metro parking lot should yield a signal or stop at Utah.

I have communicated with El Segundo via the official channels on this matter, but they have decided they are not interested in making any changes. Key to their decision is the challenge of a railroad crossing less than a hundred feet north of the Utah intersection.

Presumably, it would be difficult to get southbound traffic to queue appropriately if there were a stop sign. I'm not sure why that would be a problem here when it's not a problem elsewhere around tracks. If you just follow the same tracks eastward, you'll see several intersections that have signals or stops within a short distance of the tracks.

Northbound Birch Avenue at Broadway behind the Hawthorne mall uses a double-white line to indicate: "Tracks ahead, before a stop sign. Don't queue on the tracks."

I've already donated $365 to various charities on behalf of my request to add an all-way stop at Douglas and Utah. Plus, I previously put another $115 on the line if El Segundo does something.

In honor of the new year, I'm upping the ante. I'm adding a $1,000 bounty on this task, pending its completion. If El Segundo deals with this intersection's pedestrian crosswalk problem by adding an all-way stop or stop light, I'll donate $1,000 to Children's Hospital Los Angeles (edit: now Tree Musketeers).

To be clear, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, has nothing to do with this. I've just selected them because they seem like nice folks.

As of this writing, then, altogether with other peoples' bounties on the task, there is a total of $410 donated to charity and $1,165 pending task completion.

I invite you to participate by voting for (or against, if that's your opinion!) the task at Brian's Taskforce.
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