Prepping for the opening of the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica next year, officials turned one of the parking lanes on Overland Avenue—between Pico and National boulevards—to one for driving (in both directions). Reports on the Transit Coaliton forum, as well as a report on NBCLA, says Overland has become a de facto freeway ever since.
“I had no idea Overland Avenue had become a race track after the addition of the third lanes, with daily carnage taking place, cars speeding, hitting and flipping other cars, parked cars being sideswiped,” Transit Coalition member Gokhan wrote on the forum on Friday.
A car did indeed crash last week and ended up on the sidewalk, a block from Overland Elementary School, located at Overland and Ashby avenues. Overland students often walk to school with their parents, and previously had the parked cars as a buffer from the traffic lanes.
“I’m a little nervous lately with the train being built,” local mom Nicole Saacks told NBC. “People drive really fast and don’t pay attention, even with the crossing guard.”
The Expo Line Construction Authority, along with city officials, took out the parking lane to accommodate vehicular traffic, which will be impacted by the light rail trains cutting across Overland. City Councilman Paul Koretz is working with police and transportation officials to install more safety features and traffic calming, which could include blinking lights or a permanent traffic officer.