Effective Friday, March 8, the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus announced service changes to its Route 9 through Pacific Palisades in response to a tragic accident with a motorcyclist at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Marquez Avenue on Nov. 20, 2012.
In an email Friday from Amy Kalp, vice president of the Los Angeles Police Department West Bureau Traffic Committee, the Route 9 detour through Pacific Palisades, per instructions of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, will no longer have service stops at:
- Westbound Sunset at Marquez (Baylor)
- Westbound Sunset at Livorno
- Westbound Sunset at Arno Way
- Westbound Sunset at Salerno
- Heading back toward Santa Monica, all stops will be in service.
After meetings in February with LADOT, Council District 11, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and members of Pacific Palisades living near the intersection, Kalp said LADOT issued a directive that all bus companies cannot use the sharp lefthand turn from Marquez Avenue onto eastbound Sunset Boulevard.
Prior to that, buses were legally the only vehicles exempt from making that lefthand turn, per a small sign underneath the stop sign and "right hand turn only" sign at the end of Marque Avenue.
However, Kalp said public safety concerns about buses making that lefthand turn date back at least 10 years.
"It’s a response to a short term solution so they can deal with the turn around," Kalp said Friday, noting that a long term change is in the design phase with DOT.
According to detectives with LAPD's West Traffic Bureau and Bruce Gillman, spokesman for LADOT, the accident investigation, including a reconstruction of the incident, concluded the motorcyclist was at fault for the collision for being in violation of section 22350 of California Vehicle Code, unsafe speed.
An hour after the accident, Kalp she called LADOT to address that something needed to be done with the intersection, with the inclusion that Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Metro still need to provide a service to the Palisades.
In late January, Suja Lowenthal, spokesperson for the Big Blue Bus, said changes in Route 9 were coming, since it was "noticeably" running late in the last year.
Calls made to Metro seeking comment on any upcoming route changes to its Palisades bus were not immediately returned.