The Culver City Redevelopment Agency has begun looking at ways to move the intersection of Jefferson and Sepulveda boulevards to relieve traffic congestion in the heavily traveled area near Fox Hills Mall.
The agency will meet Monday to discuss four proposals to realign Jefferson to create a new intersection with Sepulveda. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 9770 Culver Blvd.
Realigning the intersection is the final phase of a program designed to remedy problems caused by too few traffic lanes, uncoordinated traffic signals and too short a distance between Sepulveda's intersections with Jefferson and Sawtelle Boulevard, said Cheri Leslie, a project manager with the agency.
In March, a 2,000-foot section of Sepulveda between Sawtelle and Playa Street was widened to add a third northbound lane and to provide space along the southbound lanes that is used now for street parking, but could be converted into a third traffic lane.
New Traffic Signals
At the same time, new traffic signal controls were installed and synchronized to adjust to traffic patterns.
The intersection of Jefferson and Sawtelle is only 300 feet north of the intersection of Sepulveda and Sawtelle boulevards. Traffic engineers have said that for maximum traffic flow efficiency the two intersections should be a minimum of 600 feet apart.
The four proposals for moving the Jefferson-Sepulveda intersection were devised by traffic consultants and reviewed by a committee of representatives from the city departments of transportation, municipal services, police, fire, planning and engineering and the city attorney's office.
All four proposals would cut through the Studio Drive-In Theater, which is between Jefferson and Sepulveda boulevards, and take away some parking spaces at an adjacent post office.
In its master plan, the city has designated the 11.1-acre drive-in theater for residential development. Leslie said the city has notified the property owner of its plans and that the property owner has indicated that he eventually will sell the land to the city. The city would use a portion of the drive-in for the realignment project and sell the remainder of the parcel to a private developer for a residential project.
Post Office Problem
The postmaster has told the agency that he does not want to relocate the building, but that he would work with the agency on any proposal that minimizes the impact on the post office. The agency does not have the authority to condemn and acquire property leased or owned by another governmental agency without consent.
The agency staff is recommending a proposal that would realign Jefferson Boulevard slightly eastward north of Cota Street into part of an existing shopping center. A Burger King restaurant at the shopping center would have to be removed.
The realigned road would then head southwest just past Dobson Way--where a cul-de-sac would be installed--and cut across the Studio Drive-In and a corner of the post office parking lot. Jefferson would intersect with Sepulveda about 200 feet north of Janisann Avenue.
The new intersection would be about 950 feet from the intersection of Sepulveda and Sawtelle boulevards.
The portion of Jefferson Boulevard that now runs along the Studio Village Shopping Center into Sawtelle Boulevard would remain.
This alignment would require 2.6 acres of the 11.1-acre drive-in theater. The post office building would remain in place, but would lose 25 parking places. The agency proposes replacing those spaces on a quarter-acre parcel of the drive-in between the realigned Jefferson Boulevard and the post office.
The city would have to acquire 166,200 square feet of private property at an estimated cost of $6.4 million. Total costs for this proposal, including construction, would be $8.4 million.
Leslie said in a staff report that this alternative is being recommended because of its cost and because it provides the greatest distance between intersections.
Another of the four proposals would cost less, but it would not achieve the desired increase in traffic volume capacity, she said.
Under that proposal, Sepulveda would be realigned rather than Jefferson. Sepulveda would be curved east through the drive-in to be parallel and adjacent to the post office, and would intersect Jefferson Boulevard at that point.
A connector road would be built across the western end of the post office parking lot between the realigned and the existing Sepulveda boulevards. A cul-de-sac would be installed on the northern end of Sepulveda about 450 feet north of Janisann Avenue.
This proposal would involve acquiring 94,300 square feet of land, and would cost $4.3 million.
Two Other Plans
The two other proposals would realign Jefferson Boulevard by curving it southwest at the northeastern corner of the drive-in and through the post office building. It would intersect with Sepulveda Boulevard opposite Janisann Avenue.
The existing portion of Jefferson Boulevard along the Studio Village Shopping Center would be closed.
This proposal would cost $11.9 million and involve acquiring 199,700 square feet of land. It would also involve relocating the post office building.
The last alternative would be similar to the third one, except that Jefferson Boulevard along the Studio Village Shopping Center would be retained. This proposal involves acquiring 196,700 square feet of land and would cost $11.4 million.