LADOT Places Lincoln Heights Crosswalk on Endangered List

ubrayj_sign.JPG

The LADOT remains hard at work to help speed up traffic along community streets.  One of its most recent plans is to remove a crosswalk at the corner of of Sichel and Broadway in Lincoln Heights for unnamed “safety concerns.”  The sign announcing the removal gives a number to call with comments, 213-972-4990, but I only suggest calling it if you have too much free time.  I spent what seemed to be hours on-hold and gave up before talking to anyone that could discuss the project.

For those of you who still want your voice to be heard and aren’t willing to brave the LADOT’s phone system, you can fax a letter to 213-972-5010.  I would also send those letters to president@lincolnheightsnc.org and drop a fax to Councilman Reyes’ office at 213-485-8907.

Thanks to these pictures from Ubrayj, I can see why the intersection isn’t the safest for pedestrians.  It’s just a crosswalk with no light system (or stop sign?) to go with the crossing.  Despite Sichel and Broadway being designed as one of the more visible crosswalks, unsignalized intersections are a breeding ground for bad motorist behavior. 

ubrayj_crosswalk.jpg 

I guess it’s easier to just remove the cross walk than it is to do other things to make the intersection safer.  Why calm traffic, add a traffic signal or other lighting, or just enforce traffic laws when you can just get rid of the crosswalk and the pedestrians?  No pedestrians, no pedestrian safety issue!

  • This is obscene and another example of LADOT’s tendency to regress in big ways while barely progressing in other areas. I cannot comprehend why you would take away a pedestrian crossing in an area with businesses and the business owners should be up in arms about it also. Why not put in a pedestrian signal, like the one on Beverly just west of La Brea or like the one on Hollywood Blvd, mid block. Either of these increase pedestrian visibility and motorist awareness of the crossing.

    I, too, called the number on the sign. Luckily I was not placed on hold…a woman answered the phone. I told her why I was calling and she said, “Oh, are you for or against it?”. I said, “against the removal, but I’d like to know more about the actual safety concerns”. She said, “I don’t know.” I replied, “is there someone who might know?”, she transferred me to a voicemail of an engineer…the vm had no message other than “please leave a message”, so I did. Damien, they’ll be calling you…theoretically.
    Overall, an extremely unsatisfying and uninformative conversation. And so it goes.

  • Sophia Fong is the Transportation Engineer in charge of this particular “de-crosswalking” of Broadway. She is on vacation today. 213-972-4988

    Martha Stephenson is Sophia’s supervisor. 213-972-4997

    When all else fails, call Assistant GM John Fisher @ 213-972-8424

  • The final results are in – The Crosswalk has been saved!

    1) The traffic engineer, Sophia Fong, posted the signs and then went on vacation. (June 3 – June 17) The street was due to be resurfaced and the DOT reevaluated the crosswalk and determined that it was unnecessary. (citing the studies that indicate that crosswalks unsupported by signals are less safe than no crosswalks)

    2) Martha Stephenson, Sophia’s supervisor, has intervened at the 11th hour and she is going to have Sophia take the signs down. (N. Broadway and Sichel) The Crosswalk will be reinstalled when the BOSS has finished resurfacing the streets.

    Now…if we can just put our powers to work and get Franz out of jail!

  • I called and got through after one ring. The crosswalk will be re-striped after the Bureau of Street Services re-paves the road.

    Mike Fong from Councilman Ed Reyes’ Office told me that the councilman’s office wrote a letter to the LADOT requesting that this crosswalk remain.

    The person I spoke with at the DOT confirmed some of my worst suspicions about traffic engineers in this City (and possibly elsewhere). They pretend to use calculations and science to plan the way the roadway is used – but really they are liars who have developed many onion-like sheathes of “expertise” they use to keep their jobs.

    Peel back one layer of expert opinion for being totally full-of-it unsubstantiated, crap – and you find another and another until finally, they come clean and admit that it is all politics and arbitrary decisions by random bureaucrats in their department.

    The DOT staffers I have gotten to know have always blown me away with their clear understanding of matters hiding cloaked behind a thick veil of bullshit they have to present to everyone in City government and public life. I love ’em, but I hate the way they plan the uses of the public right-of-way.

  • I’d like to add that, Damien, you nailed it with this line:

    “Why calm traffic, add a traffic signal or other lighting, or just enforce traffic laws when you can just get rid of the crosswalk and the pedestrians? No pedestrians, no pedestrian safety issue!”

  • Martha Stephenson, LADOT Central District Engineer

    The crosswalk at the intersection of North Broadway and Sichel Street will be reinstalled following the resurfacing of the street. Unfortunately, Ms Fong has been on vacation for the past 2 weeks, and was unable to remove the public notification sign after the decision had been made to keep the crosswalk. We regret any frustration felt by the community.

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