TRAFFIC & CIRCULATION
A traffic assessment was prepared by Linscott Law & Greenspan (September 20, 1999)
for the Draft Framework Plan. The study addressed access and parking for the
construction and operation of the Los Angeles Nature Center. In addition, the study
examined other elements of the Debs Framework Plan, such as possible improvements to
vehicular access and parking facilities.
From adjacent communities, the 110 freeway has several off-ramps that serve the park:
Avenue 43, Avenue 52, Via Marisol, and Avenue 60. Currently, public vehicular access
is from Monterey Road on the east and Boundary Avenue on the south. Taking the
Monterey Road entrance, the visitor follows a curved road up into the main parking lot.
No improvements are proposed to the main entry gate or the main parking lot.
Access to the southern area of the park is via Boundary Avenue from Mercury Avenue.
There are two gates along the park access road. The first one is generally open to the
public, and the second gate is closed, restricting vehicular access into the interior of the
park. It is proposed that the appearance of the southern entrance be improved by adding
Maintenance and emergency vehicle entrances are also provided in the park. There are
two located in the northwest portion of the property from Griffin Avenue. An additional
maintenance/emergency vehicle entrance is located in the northwest portion of the site
from Via Marisol. No improvements are proposed for these entrances.
One of the closest bus stops to the northern section of Debs Park is at the intersection of
Figueroa Street and Avenue 49 where the DASH bus line stops. From this stop there is a
pedestrian bridge one block north adjacent to Sycamore Grove Park. The bridge crosses
over the Pasadena Freeway to Griffin Avenue, approximately 500 feet from the proposed
entrance to the Nature Center. There are no bus routes on Monterey Road and Griffin
Avenue adjacent to the Park. MTA Route 255 runs along Griffin Avenue as far north as
Avenue 43, approximately 0.7 miles south of the proposed Nature Center entrance.
MTA Route 45 follows Mercury Avenue. The closest stops for Route 45 in the
southern portion of the Park include one stop located on the corner of Monterey Road
and Huntington Drive North, and two stops on Mercury Avenue near Reynolds Avenue.
The provision of a bus stop along Mercury Avenue would be beneficial to those people
utilizing the southern portion of the park including the playing fields and playground.
Although people could use the DASH bus stop on Figueroa Street to enter the Nature
Center area, it is several blocks away.
LOS ANGELES NATURE CENTER
The Los Angeles Nature Center would provide approximately 7,500 square feet of
building floor area15 and will offer programs during weekdays for school children, as well
as on weekends for adults and families. On a daily routine basis, approximately 15
people are expected to visit the Nature Center at any one time. This number of is
expected to increase when a school field trip group visits the Center. It is anticipated that
approximately 65 children would attend the Nature Center at any one time. In addition,
approximately 12 full-time employees are anticipated to staff the Nature Center.
In terms of site access and parking provisions for the proposed Los Angeles Nature
Center, the traffic analysis makes the following observations and recommendations:
The Nature Center will be located near the existing southerly driveway on Griffin
Avenue. This location was selected to minimize the Nature Center's footprint within
Debs Park, thereby reducing the effects on the surrounding environment. Thus, this
southerly driveway was analyzed to determine if site access to the Nature Center
would be feasible at this location. The Caltrans "Traffic Manual" was consulted to
determine the required stopping sight distance, based on the posted speed limit of 35
miles per hour on Griffin Avenue. The "Traffic Manual" recommends a minimum of
250 feet of stopping sight distance. Field observations were made to determine the
existing available stopping sight distance along Griffin Avenue at the proposed Nature
Center driveway location. North of the proposed site access driveway, there is more
than adequate stopping sight distance. South of the proposed site access driveway,
the curvature of Griffin Avenue necessitated the need to measure the available
stopping sight distance. It was determined that the existing stopping sight distance is
285 feet. Thus, the proposed driveway serving the Nature Center satisfies the
minimum stopping sight distance requirements.
The Nature Center is proposed to provide 7,500 square feet of floor area, with the
Draft Framework Plan allowing up to 10,000 square feet. The City of Los Angeles
Municipal Code requires one (1) parking space for every 500 square feet within commercial buildings. Thus, based on the Code requirements, approximately 15
onsite parking spaces are required for a 7,500 square foot building and 20 spaces
would be required for a 10,000 square foot building. Based on the number of staff
members and participants anticipated to be at the Nature Center at any one time, 15
to 20 parking spaces will sufficiently meet the expected peak parking demand
generated by use of the building. In addition, parking for visitors to the Nature
Center's outdoor facilities is expected to generate the need for an additional 15-25
However, to minimize adverse effects associated with grading and paving within the
existing Park, the study examined the feasibility of using street parking to serve the
parking needs of the proposed Nature Center. Typical acceptable maximum walking
distance is approximately 0.25 miles or 1,320 feet. To be conservative, a walking
distance of up to 500 feet in each direction on Griffin Avenue was assumed for the
study to determine the number of available parking spaces. Further, for this review,
only the street parking spaces along the east side of Griffin Avenue were considered,
as the street parking spaces on the west side require pedestrians to cross Griffin
Avenue. Moreover, the street parking spaces on the west side of Griffin Avenue
were observed to be occasionally utilized by patrons of the adjacent soccer fields. If a
parking spaces length of 25 feet is assumed, then 40 parking spaces are available along
the east side of Griffin Avenue, adjacent to the proposed Nature Center site. This
supply would be more than adequate to accommodate the peak parking demand
needed for the future Nature Center.
Debs Park Area 1 and Area 2
Issues addressed in this section include potential improvements to parking in Area 1 and
Parking Ð Main Parking Lot (Area 2) and Rose Hill (Area 1)
Based on a recent field review, the
main parking area of Debs Park
contains approximately 127 parking
spaces, including four (4) handicap
spaces. This lot appears to be
efficiently striped to accommodate
the maximum number of
automobiles. Thus, there does not
appear to be an immediate
opportunity to increase the parking
supply at this location.
The parking lot at the Rose Hill Park contains approximately 35 parking spaces.
While the existing parking area appears to be efficiently striped, there is the potential
to increase the parking supply by adding 20 feet of paved area along the west edge of
the lot. This modification would accommodate up to an additional 32 parking spaces,
which would serve the proposed new land uses in Area 1, such as the community
garden and ARTScorpsLA building. Earthwork, pavement surfacing and striping
would be required. The "overflow" unpaved parking area was not utilized during field
observations (which included the Labor Day holiday weekend). Therefore, the need
to serve peak parking demands may be more closely tied to the use of the picnic area
by Green Meadow Farms, and the cumulative traffic generated by their petting zoo
and general public use.
Currently, vehicular access to the facilities in Area 1 (Rose Hill) is provided from
Mercury Avenue to the south, and access to the main facilities is provided from
Monterey Road to the east. There is a connecting roadway between the two areas
which is closed to public use. The internal access roads appear to be sufficient in
terms of pavement width, sight distance, etc. No other improvements to the internal
access roadways appear to be required in conjunction with the Debs Framework Plan.
Traffic and Circulation Recommendations:
• Should the City Department of Building and Safety approve the use of street
parking along Griffin Avenue in lieu of a parking lot, to satisfy either a portion
or all of the parking needs of the proposed Los Angeles Nature Center, it is
recommended that sidewalks be constructed. Sidewalks should be placed
along the east side of Griffin Avenue at an appropriate distance to the north
and south of the site access driveway. This cost will be the responsibility of
the Audubon Society/LA Nature Center.
•With construction of the new future driveway, prohibit parking (paint the
curbs red) to approximately 10 feet from the edge of the driveway to increase
•Provide a pedestrian crosswalk on Griffin Avenue at the future Los Angeles
Nature Center driveway. Conduct studies to determine if a signalized crossing
•To accommodate future land use activities in Area 1, including the Reptilia
Island Renaissance Skill Center, provide 20 feet of paved area along the west
edge of the southern Rose Hill parking lot. This modification would provide
up to an additional 32 parking spaces. Earthwork, pavement surfacing and
striping would be required.
•Extend MTA Route 255 on Griffin Avenue 0.7 miles northeast to the future
Los Angeles Nature Center entrance.