Mulholland Drive has long been known as one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the Los Angeles area. The street, made infamous by David Lynch’s 2001 film of the same name, weaves its way around the Santa Monica mountains. The road offers amazing views of Southern California, but also terrifying twists and turns that can be harmful to unsuspecting drivers and motorcyclists alike.
A new Wired article profiles The Snake, a section of Mulholland Drive that has proved particularly difficult for people on motorcycles. Towards the end of The Snake is a section of the road referred to as Edwards Corner, where the street makes a 180-degree turn that many motorcyclists cannot handle.
The area has quickly turned into a YouTube phenomenon due to the frequent crashes that happen there. A search on the video website for “Mulholland Drive” returns tons of clips with titles like “scooter crashes into guardrail” and “Ducati Crash in Front of Cop.” According to Wired, these videos are typically captured by a group of bystanders that bring cameras to The Snake, waiting for the inevitable to occur.
One such videographer, Ken Snyder, says many motorcycle riders are aware of their actions when they lose control around Edwards Corner.
“Riders treat the Snake like a skate park for motorcycles. Most who crash are inexperienced and pushing themselves. Even though they have seen countless crashes, it seems everyone learns the hard way,” Snyder said.
A rider named Adey Bennett agreed with Snyder’s sentiments, claiming that Edwards Corner isn’t actually that difficult to maneuver.
“The reason why most people crash on this turn is because they don’t know how to assess the type of corner they’re riding on. It’s such a simple turn when you see it done well, but people make it so complicated,” Bennett said.
Although the road was designed in a manner that makes it difficult for many riders, there are no city or state plans to renovate the highway. According to LA Mountains, the highway was constructed in 1924. Law enforcement officials these days, however, are watching more and more YouTube videos involving crashes on the street. This has caused them to increase the amount they patrol the area.
“We estimate that at least 60 to 70 percent of [motorcycle crashes] are unreported. We look at the videos ourselves, and there were two months where I saw a bunch of crashes on YouTube and looked at our collision states and didn’t see any reported,” said local Officer Leland Tang.