Metro has been working hard to get the word out about the first long-term subway-construction-related lane closures on Wilshire Blvd. But when the first of those closures began this weekend, it turned into something of a bumpy ride for some area residents. Starting on Friday night, the street was narrowed to two lanes in each direction, so fencing and concrete barriers could be installed on the north side of the street, getting it ready for the installation of piles to support the coming construction of the Purple Line subway station box between Orange Drive and Detroit St.
Beginning at 9 p.m. on Friday, November 6, the two northernmost lanes on the street were closed for the construction, and traffic flow was moved to the four lanes south of that area. Residents had been warned about the construction activity, but many were taken by surprise by some of the traffic control measures Metro took to help adjust the flow of traffic during the closures. The biggest surprise for residents south of Wilshire were a number of “No Left Turn” signs on westbound Wilshire, preventing access to the residential streets in the Sycamore Square neighborhood and forcing those who live there to access their streets from La Brea and Highland Avenues instead of Wilshire Blvd.
On Sunday, Sycamore Square’s Facebook page lit up with neighbors’ complaints about the lack of notice for the new no-turn signs. Later that afternoon, Metro representative Michael Cortez responded to an inquiry by Sycamore Square resident Ann Eggleston, noting that many of the traffic control measures in place this weekend were only temporary, and would be removed by Monday morning (though the lane closures will continue for several months).
This morning, however, the fairly permanent-looking signs are still in place, so anyone heading that way should be aware of the closures and turn restrictions and start looking for alternate access – for the next few months – to points south of Wilshire.