Starbucks’ Traffic Causing Some Headaches

Outlook Valley Sun photo
A Starbucks on Foothill Boulevard (near Ocean View) does not allow left turns in or out of the location, but drivers still attempted to make the turns. Bollards have now been added to prevent cars from making illegal turns.

A Starbucks in western La Cañada Flintridge is causing quite a stir among residents, who have complained about the traffic near the coffee shop located on 2230 Foothill Blvd.
The location, which was formerly an El Pollo Loco, is one of the newer Starbucks that features a drive-thru but that convenience and service has brought more headaches for locals. The backup of vehicles traveling eastbound on Foothill Boulevard is notable and has raised several safety concerns.
Patrick DeChellis, the city’s director of Public Works, addressed the issue during a virtual city council meeting on Tuesday.
“A traffic engineer looked at the situation and there’s a lot going on,” he said.
The city re-striped the area to not allow left turns in and out of the location but drivers still attempted to make the turns. Bollards have now been added to prevent cars from making illegal turns.
DeChellis said it’s a temporary solution and a pilot project and hopes to receive feedback from the community about it.
One community member wrote a letter to the city council saying safety issues remain despite the bollards.
“To think we could have used those bollards to protect the bike lanes. What a waste,” the person wrote.
The city measured the street with the hopes of re-striping and adding a turn lane but came up five feet short.
LCF staff assured the council and community that it is looking for a more permanent and aesthetically pleasing solution.
“Now we’re looking at what physical modifications we could do so we could provide for a right turn pocket into the driveway there at 2230 Foothill Blvd. with the bike lane and two eastbound travel lanes,” DeChellis said.
The location is one of four Starbucks —the largest and most popular coffee chain in the world — in La Cañada Flintridge, which is remarkable for a small city with a population just over 20,000. The other three are located on 475 Foothill Blvd. (at Gould Avenue), near the United Artists movie theater on Verdugo Boulevard, and inside the Target in the Town Center.