Back in March, a video by Adam Choit showed pedestrians struggling to cross Sunset Boulevard at Vista Street went locally viral. Not content for this video to just serve as a rallying call for better streets in a larger sense, Deborah Murphy forwarded the video to executives at LADOT witha request that the intersection be re-examined. Murphy is chair of the city’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee and founder of Los Angeles Walks.
Earlier this week, LADOT announced that they’ve seen the light, or at least the video. The intersection has been added to a list of intersections due to receive crosswalks and should be painted “in the next fiscal year.”
The news that pedestrians will soon be able to safely cross the street was good news for Choit who promises more videos such as the one above.
“This is great news, because a new traffic signal will not only definitely improve overall pedestrian safety in the area, but it will also help local businesses and the economy,” writes Choit. “In the future, I plan to make more films and videos that have a positive impact on the community and world around me. It’s definitely rewarding to know that hard work and having a vision can pay off, and one person really can make a difference.”
The news also fired up Murphy, who believes that small victories such as this one will be common place as the advocacy network of people concerned with safe streets continues to grow.
“You can make a difference in your neighborhood if you get involved and stay committed like Adam Choit,” explains Murphy. “I encourage dedicated pedestrian advocates and community leaders to get involved in the city’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee. We need representatives from Council Districts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 15. contact your council member immediately. You too can make a difference.”
In a city as large as Los Angeles, it’s critical not just to be concerned and active, you also have to know how to get your information and views in the hands of the right people. In this case, Choit’s video first appeared on Curbed, when it appeared on Streetsblog it was noticed by Murphy who chairs the P.A.C. She took the issues to Senior Trasnportation Engineer Pauline Chan at LADOT who worked on the issue internally.
As Murphy commented, “It takes a village.”
Of course, just getting a report isn’t the end of the story. The “fiscal year” begins on July 1. We’ll be watching Sunset and Vista for signs of a crosswalk.