El Segundo Traffic & Pedestrian Safety Project
Background: On Monday, October 30, 2023 a serious injury-accident occurred on El Segundo between Saturnino and Ramon. Subsequently, Patrick Vincent, Baristo Board Vice Chair, held a meeting of Baristo's Traffic & Safety Workgroup. Initial research indicated that several accident-injury events had occurred on or near Baristo's portion of El Segundo. The meeting was attended by Lt. Hutchinson who was very supportive and suggested that the Safegrowth process be activated to help make El Segundo safer (See the December issue of The Roadrunner for more details about Safegrowth. Fast-forward to February 2024 and the Police Department has asked Sgt. Litch, a community IMPACT officer for PSPD, to look into this and work with the Neighborhood to improve the safety of El Segundo, pending initial analysis. Sgt. Litch asked for more information, and Patrick responded on February 02. His response constitutes and comprehensive list of our concerns and is therefore listed below.
Thank you for taking the time to review and address our concerns about traffic within the Baristo neighborhood. We have been monitoring pedestrian, bicycle, and motor traffic in the area for the past year. Several neighbors have brought up issues such as speeding, drunk drivers, lack of traffic calming, few stop signs and speed limit signs, and pedestrian safety. These issues seem to be overwhelming for the Org to take on all at once, so we would like to focus on pedestrian safety in the El Segundo corridor between Ramon and Tahquitz.
El Segundo Corridor
The Baristo neighborhood is essentially a downtown neighborhood. We have a high density of apartments, condominiums, townhomes, and some single family residences. There are approximately 22 residential developments within the Org and roughly 2300 residents (per Next-door) or about 5% of the Palm Springs overall population. The City has also chosen Baristo to house 5-6 new low to moderate incoming housing developments with about 600 new units to be built within 10 years. This could potentially add another 1,000-1,500 residents. With this density comes heavier pedestrian traffic than most other areas of the city. Not only do our residents walk to downtown, we also have adjacent neighborhood residents walking through. For the many events going on downtown and the weekly Village fest, we are also a park and walk destination with many valley residents and tourists parking along Encilia, El Segundo, Arenas, at the Courtyard parking garage, and the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church parking lot.
Over the last several months, we have observed several accidents on El Segundo including a serious car/pedestrian casualty, a car/bicycle accident, cars hitting parked cars, and a car breaking through the flood channel fence and into the channel itself. These have raised the concerns for our residents, especially in that we have many children in the three apartment complexes adjacent to Baristo park. I requested an accident report from the city for ALL of the Baristo neighborhood and am attaching it here for your review.
There are also some street challenges within Baristo and particularly on El Segundo. Arenas at El Segundo does not intersect at a tidy four-way stop. It “jogs” across El Segundo creating an dangerous pedestrian crossway. This is the same for Saturnino. These two streets along with El Segundo are our three main arteries for pedestrians to walk into town and back home. However, dim lighting and no cross walks anywhere along El Segundo outside the busy Ramon and Tahquitz Roads make it a challenge to cross the street with speeding drivers.
Some neighbors have suggested some of the following solutions to help slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety. These are only passed along as suggestions, as we realize the city experts will be able to better determine what has worked for our city in the past. We rely on your expertise.
Crosswalks on El Segundo; at the northeast corner of Saturnino leading into Baristo Park and at the southwest corner of Arenas to the Church parking lot.
Traffic calming - speed bumps along El Segundo, lowering speed limits to 30MPH, post a MPH sign southbound on El Segundo from Tahquitz, painting lines distinguishing the roadway from the street parking, better marked lane narrowing southbound on El Segundo from Tahquitz ending at Arenas.
Lighting; additional overhead lighting, lighted crosswalks, decorative lighting at Arenas and Saturnino.
Sidewalk and curb completion on the west side of El Segundo (also improving street parking).
Several neighbors have also observed that due to parking along El Segundo, they have difficulty seeing oncoming traffic when exiting their complexes causing them to have to enter the roadway and block sidewalks before turning onto the road. This is also true when crossing El Segundo on Saturnino and Arenas.
We look forward to meeting with you and getting your ideas and assistance in addressing these issues for our community.