ECHO PARK (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles City Council is actively looking at solutions for easing traffic on one of the steepest roads in the nation as neighbors continue to demand changes.
L.A. City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell and members of the L.A. Department of Transportation fielded questions at a packed community meeting Wednesday at Elysian Heights Elementary to discuss Baxter Street in Echo Park, which neighbors say has seen an influx in traffic as navigation apps like Google Maps bring more people through the area.
The street, which has an astonishing 32-grade, often creates fear and confusion for drivers who are unsuspectedly lead there by their navigation apps.
“There’s been cars literally flipped upside down,” neighbor Steven Taylor told CBS2 last month.
“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,” neighbor Mark Stuplin added.
Last month, LADOT engineers told residents there are two primary options: making the street one way heading east, or instituting no left turns off Lakeshore Drive, both of which could remove Baxter from being seen as a good short cut on navigation apps.
At Wednesday’s meeting O’Farrell told CBS2 that he plans on working with LADOT and app developers to try and find a solution that would divert drivers away from the street.
“And then we’ll get this motion heard in the transportation committee, and then start getting reports back on how we can work with these app companies on altering their algorithms and their maps,” O’Farrell said.
Some neighbors have proposed a third solution: making Baxter a dead end street.
Another meeting on the Baxter issue has been scheduled for May 2, also at Elysian Heights Elementary.