ECHO PARK (CBSLA) — Online apps are sending drivers onto one of the steepest streets in the country.
As CBSLA’s Laurie Perez reports, Wednesday night Baxter Street neighbors packed Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s office demanding the DOT do something to ease the confusion and crashes on their hillside street.
Seeing Baxter street, you still might not believe it, apart from actually driving it.
It’s always been a destination for daredevil skaters, but recently neighbors say it’s become real-life scary.
“Somebody’s gonna die unless they do something abut the situation,” said Mark Stuplin. “Somebody is gonna get seriously hurt.”
Homeowners flooded CBSLA with stories and pictures and videos of trouble they’ve seen as they say navigation apps keep sending a flow of unsuspecting drivers onto Baxter as a shortcut around Los Angeles traffic.
“It’s like a mini 405 between 3:30 to 7:00 at night every single night,” said Daniel Ross.
Problem is, for those not ready for the 32 percent grade, well, here’s what neighbors say happens:
“When you get to the top you can’t see over and people panic and they stop and they try to do a U-turn,”said Cindi Munemitsu. “They back up and then that’s where all the problems start.”
They’ve become every day filmmakers of a reality show starring commuters who give them endless footage of ‘oh-my-gosh-its-happened-again’ crashes and confusion.
“There’s been cars literally flipped upside down,” said Steven Taylor.
“He lost control of the car and ended up rolling over two driveways,” said Colleen Broomall.
“They took out my trellis, my retaining wall, my picket fence, landed in my Bougainvillea and it looked like a plane crash through my front yard,” said Stuplin.
Wednesday DOT engineers told an overflow crowd at Councilman O’Farrell’s office there are really two options — make the street one way heading east or make it no left turns off Lakeshore Drive — both of which might remove Baxter from being seen as a good short cut on navigation apps.
For neighbors losing cars, property and sleep, changes can’t come soon enough.
“Screeching and honking and sirens and insanity all the time,”said Diana Wagman.
The DOT says it can’t force the map apps to remove the street from their applications so they will have to deal with it as a safety issue. Some neighbors say a better option is to make it a dead end street. They are going to propose that at a meeting in three weeks.