Left Turn Signal to be Installed at Chautauqua and Sunset

Intersection where 2017 fatal motorcycle accident occurred getting left turn lane by December

By Sam Catanzaro

In 2017 36-year-old David Babalyan died in a motorcycle accident at the intersection of Chautauqua and Sunset boulevards. Now following three years of lobbying by a group of Pacific Palisades residents the intersection will be getting a left turn late intended to prevent such accidents from occurring again.

At the October 22 Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) meeting, Eric Bruins, Council District 11 Transportation Director announced that a left-turn signal is being installed at the intersection of Chautauqua Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. According to Bruins the signal, which will be for westbound traffic on Sunset turning left onto Chautauqua, will represent a “significant safety improvement” for Pacific Palisades.

“The signal had been sought by community members since the fatal motorcycle accident in 2017 and is expected to reduce collision incidents at this location going forward,” the PPCC said.

Pacific Palisades resident Lou Kamer was at the scene of the fatal 2017 accident. That crash involved four motorcycles traveling east on Sunset and a westbound Mercedes Benz driven by a 16-year-old boy. In addition to Babalyan’s death, the crash sent the three other motorcyclists to the hospital. At the time Kamer was serving on the PPCC, and along with then-PPCC President Maryam Za, led a persistent effort to address safety at the intersection, working with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office and the Los Angeles Police Department.

In early 2019, Bonin included the project in his Westside Fast Forward an initiative to that accelerated safety projects in Council District 11 and now by December the traffic signal will be activated, according to Bruins.

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