Cars Are Basic Inc. is a traffic advocacy and review organization. After being advised of the following, we find this to be an ill-advised and unnecessary expense and disruption to the area:
” ... convert the current entry on West Victoria Street to an exit; install an 80 square foot pre-manufactured kiosk, associated parking equipment, and electrical service; realign the exit driveway; and new landscaping and frontage improvements from the access drive to the eastern property line of the adjacent parcel (Victoria Hall theater) including a sidewalk extension and a 370 square foot parkway planter. A total of 625 square feet of surface will be repaved.”
This item is similar in idea to the proposed parking lot changes associated with the MTD bus station on Chapala and Figueroa streets. At the time of the discussion about that project, CAB pointed out the change from the Figueroa Street entrance to an exit would create traffic congestion. Staff (city traffic planning) agreed there was the potential for congestion and responded by altering the exit plan with the imposition of a right-turn only.
CAB then pointed out the traffic addition to State Street, which is narrowed to one lane in each direction, would then develop congestion on State. Staff then reluctantly agreed by dropping this plan.
The Victoria Street and State Street intersection is a heavily used location during Arlington and Granada theater events. With the upcoming opening of the Victoria Hall theater events, it is easily considered a primary corridor during show hours. Taking an entrance (bleeding traffic off the street) and turning it into an exit (adding traffic to the street) that will congest this block is ill-advised.
There will be many cars queued to take left turns onto State if they go right out of the parking lot. Currently we already see congestion with left turns on weekends and event nights. If left turns are allowed onto Victoria Street from the exit, there will surely be congestion from through traffic not wanting to allow drivers from the parking lot.
CAB urges the city to deny this requested change. It will keep exit traffic flowing onto a two-lane, one-way street capable of moving traffic efficiently. It will minimize the added effect of Victoria Hall events on both Victoria and State streets. It is consistent with past decisions by staff as noted above.
Importantly, from the Planning Commission’s perspective, denial would help preserve the historical nature (according to the above 995 feet of changes) and flow of the area.
Scott Wenz, president
Cars Are Basic Inc.