Plan to fix traffic is agreed upon, timetable still unsure

For those of you who have been waiting in agony for the traffic situation to be fixed, there is good news. There’s also bad news.

The good news: there finally seems to be a plan to get everything fixed and it’s much larger than anyone could have anticipated. The bad news: no one is quite sure as to when the plan will start.

A recap on where we are so far: Phase I, which was simply a “stop gap”, according to Project Manager Oscar Marrufo, was completed at the end of last semester. Phase II, which involves the actual, physical changes, has been in a holding pattern for some time. That is, until now.

The plan, which was heavily discussed at a Sept. 22 meeting with representatives from DPMHS, High Tech LA, Birmingham Community Charter High School and Independence High School, along with the engineers from LAUSD, seems to be this:

The driveway that borders the school on the north side will become one way, as originally planned. You will only be able to turn right off of Balboa into the driveway, not onto Balboa. Other major details include turning the set- or at least part of the set- of unused parking lots on the back side of the school next to Birmingham into Birmingham’s drop-off circle, thereby alleviating some traffic on other sides of the complex. If the drop-off circle becomes a reality, then Haynes next to Birmingham will become one way as well, similar to how the driveway on DPMHS’ north side will be.

Why are all of the other schools getting involved? Because DPMHS is part of the larger complex, and when you affect traffic in one area of the complex, it ripples out to affect traffic in other areas.

“We will never reduce the amount of cars (coming in),” DPMHS Principal Deb Smith said. “What we want is (for Phase II) to keep the cars moving; to make it more expedient.”