Back in February, Curbed reported that police in Koreatown were ticketing pedestrians crossing the intersection of Wilshire and Vermont if they crossed after the signal starting flashing orange. Tickets, which were given to pedestrians even if they made it safely across the street before the flashing signal became a solid one, ranged between $200 and $300.
Last week the LAPD was at it again, this time at the intersection of 7th and Flower Street. Two LA Streetsblog readers report that police are waiting for pedestrians to cross the street, and if they entered the crosswalk after the hand started flashing, they’re ticketed. After LAPD in the valley focused their pedestrian safety efforts at ticketing vehicles breaking the law, we hoped that maybe LAPD had learned a lesson in progressive law enforcement.
As in the case in Koreatown, the LAPD has picked an area that has a lot of pedestrian traffic as a result of it also being a transit hub. The Red Line’s Metro Center stop and a bus stop are located next to the intersection. For those that appreciate irony, the sting is probably catching a lot of transportation professionals. The Southern California Association of Governments is located less than a block from the intersection.
The police would doubtless explain that this is just an effort to make the intersection safer. As we’ve noted before, there are a lot of things that can be done to make an intersection more safe other than ticketing pedestrians who cross the street safely. These include re-engineering the intersection to slow down traffic, retiming the pedestrian crossing signals, and adding traffic calming to slow down traffic.