WEST LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A busy Westside intersection has become a battleground for local motorists and business owners losing money over what they say is an excessive number of traffic restrictions.
KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports the Motor Avenue Improvement Association is calling on City Councilman Paul Koretz to address the alleged “ticket trap” at Motor Avenue and National Boulevard in the city of Palms, where community members claim to get dozens of traffic citations every day.
So-called “traffic calming” measures and newly-added bike lanes along the northbound lanes are being blamed for back-ups that residents say restrict access to local businesses and can grow as long as 25 to 30 cars waiting to travel north of Palms.
Police issued about 200 tickets for illegal turns at the intersection from Jan. 1 to April 12 this year, with about 40 drivers cited over two mornings during that period, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Illegal turn violations can cost drivers nearly $240, the Times reported.
According to the Motor Avenue Improvement Association, a computer store located near the intersection gives a $90 discount to any client who receives a ticket while trying to come to their store. The merchant has reportedly spent $1,800 last year alone on what the group calls “justice credits”.
Peter Neptune, who works at P&C Auto Body just north of National, blamed the mess on tough restrictions for making turns in the morning hours when stores open for business.
“They can’t make a left or a right turn onto Motor from National, and this has actually had a very, very serious impact on our businesses,” Neptune said.
Motor Association members have been photographed regularly standing out along the intersection with signs reading, “No Turn! Will Get Ticket!” to warn drivers against making the illegal turn onto Motor Avenue.
“Trying to get to work in Century City, a four-mile trip, is always marred by the traffic on Motor,” said one Palms resident. “I continually try new routes. Why should I have to? Please help us.”
While some residents have complained the ticketing effort is simply a revenue-generating scheme device for the city or a way of keeping cars out of the upscale Cheviot Hills neighborhood, police officers say the restrictions are actually engineering-based and intended to keep commuter traffic flowing smoothly, Demetriou reported.
An online petition calling on the city of Los Angeles to fix the traffic situation along Motor had amassed only 15 total signatures as of Wednesday.