LA’s Biggest Problem?

The LA Times asked a bunch of Angelenos what is LA’s biggest problem for 2007 and’s own co-founder Sean Bonner shares his leftist opinion.

The city’s glaring lack of left-turn lanes and left-turn signals shows a blatant directionist bias toward people turning right. This oppression has a trickle-down effect: People are so ashamed of their need to turn left that they hide it until the very last second, sometimes not putting on their blinker until they are at the stoplight.

What do you think?

8 thoughts on “LA’s Biggest Problem?”

  1. I tend to disagree. Given the number of people I’ve seen merge across the double yellow lines into the center divider portion of the street, braving potential ticketing in order to zoom ahead to the left-turn queue, I tend to think there’s something special about turning left that I’m missing out on.

  2. Protected Left turns are fine… I think LA’s biggest problem is the RED left turn arrow. Why make it red? Why not allow the left turners to yield to the traffic ahead.

    I understand their use on blind intersections where it would be dangerous to turn left (like heading east on Avenue San Luis from Calabasas at the intersection with Valley circle) but in most cases these just slow the flow of traffic and further violate the rights of left turners. Get it… rights… annnnyway.

  3. Anyone waiting to turn left that does not immediately pull half way into the intersection should be shot.

  4. On the occasions that I come to LA, and I’m in the La Brea area, I *hate* making left turns. Because only one or two cars can sneak through as the light finishes it’s cycle.

    You shouldn’t enter an intersection if you don’t know that you’re going to make it through while the light is green – so I’m not big on the entering the intersection immediately.

    The best solution? Right turns. Go one street past where you want to turn left, and make three rights. That will get you to your left turn.

  5. Yes… it’s true… three rights do equal a left… and it’s often faster. A classic case of a “blind left” is going eastbound on Olympic turning left to go south onto Alameda… Olympic has a pronounced turn to the right at the intersection, and this is Downtown’s most truck-heavy area, which severely limits visibility – so making that left is not only dangerous, it is unusual for more than one car to get it done per light. The solution: drivers need to think ahead to avoid that nasty left. There are hundreds of equally bad intersections… This is a classic example of LA’s culture of “it’s all about me”- people not taking the little bit of time necessary to care about what they are doing. That said, left turn issues are nothing compared to the huge homeless issue, political game-playing and do-nothing hand-wringing that generally accompanies it. Let’s wake up a little and pay attention to what really matters here…

  6. man, you think it’s bad now? Were you here 10-15 years ago? When I moved back in 2001 I was so stoked to see all these new left-turn lanes and lights, particluarly in Hollywood. Used to be a LOT worse. As for signaling, yes, it would be nice if more people did that.

    But David, there’s an even better solution: Buy a motorcycle, then cut to the front. The first car invariably doesn’t pull far enough into the intersection, and voila! No waiting! The minute the oncoming traffic lets up (usually a few minutes after the light turns red) you can go. As well as the guy behind you, since he didn’t dare creep forward to get any closer to that psychopath on the motorcycle.


  7. Heh. I remember thinking that this was the biggest problem 20 years ago. And it’s much better now. They’ve put in lots of left-turn lanes and even some protected left-turn lights since then. It’s still bad, and there’s more traffic now than there was then, so maybe it’s a wash. It’s just funny to see people complaining about this today. Things never change.

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