New Diagonal Intersection in Belmont Shore Expected to Enhance Traffic Flow

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The first pedestrian diagonal intersection in decades has been installed at the intersection of 2nd Street, Livingston Drive and Quincy Avenue (Intersection), as part of a project to enhance traffic flow and intersection safety on Ocean Boulevard from the Intersection to Alamitos Avenue.

“I’m very pleased that we’re improving motorist and pedestrian safety with this innovative design,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “By improving traffic flow along the Ocean Boulevard corridor, we will reduce vehicle idling times and, therefore, the amount of pollutants that enter our atmosphere as well.”

Diagonal intersections, also known as a pedestrian “scramble” intersections, improve pedestrian circulation and safety by stopping all vehicular traffic and allowing pedestrians to cross an intersection in multiple directions, including diagonally, at the same time.  A traffic-pedestrian study determined that this Intersection would be a good location for the scramble.

“Belmont Shore is a wonderful place to enjoy while walking, and the new pedestrian scramble intersection will improve mobility and safety, and help to better connect Belmont Shore with Belmont Heights and other surrounding neighborhoods,” said Councilwoman Suzie Price.

Traffic signals at the Intersection will be programmed to allow pedestrians enough time to cross the street. The removal of the longer, westerly crosswalk along the south side of 2nd Street, across Livingston Drive, eliminates delays to bicyclists, motorists and public transit. That crosswalk had terminated at a median island.

The new diagonal crosswalks extend only partly into the intersection, to direct pedestrians, but not impede traffic flow when motorists have the right of way. The existing, remaining crosswalks will retain their striping.

The diagonal crosswalks are connected to an Advanced Traffic Control System (ATCS), which is currently being programmed to enhance traffic flow and intersection safety on Ocean Boulevard between Alamitos Avenue and the Intersection. This project also includes new traffic signals at Loma, Coronado and Orizaba avenues (for a total of 18 – all operational), traffic signal controller cabinet upgrades, modifications to existing signal infrastructure, and traffic control software.

The ATCS will allow the signal system to continuously react to traffic flows throughout the day rather than be set at fixed time intervals as they currently operate. Approximately 36,000 vehicles per day travel through this corridor. With the flexibility to adjust to varying traffic volumes during the day, the system is projected to reduce vehicle delays by 5 percent to 10 percent, along with engine idling and associated pollution. The ATCS synchronization is expected to be completed in approximately two months.

The total estimated project cost is $2,392,000 which is funded by $1,406,000 granted by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and $986,000 in Transportation Impact Fees and Gas Tax.

Additional diagonal crosswalks are planned for Pine Avenue at 1st, 4th and 5th Streets, as part of the ongoing Pine Avenue Street Improvement Project between Seaside Way and Anaheim Street. There have been diagonal crosswalks before in Long Beach, including one at Pine Avenue and Broadway in the 1950s.

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