Signalized Crosswalk Coming for Sunset and Vista

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.

  • Is it just going to be paint on the ground, or will there be any crosser-activated warning signal to drivers? Flashing lights, etc. 

  • Sorry, just now see that it’s described as signalized. Sorry!

  • Ubrayj02

    The signalized crossing: LA non-solution solution to every pedestrian safety concern!

    Why this doesn’t work:

    (1) cars still speed in this bustling business district. Local businesses have their sales and foot traffic suppressed by loud noise and negative psychological effects the traffic has on customers.

    (2) The light costs $250,000 not counting maintenance. It will never return to the city, in reduced police calls, increased foot traffic/sales (and thus sales tax) revenue, nor in increased property valuation (i.e. increased property taxes).

    (3) The signal subordinates the basic unit of every civilization, the human being on foot, to the Super Citizen inside of a car. The human on foot is: shopping, nonpolluting, a signal that we live in an inhabited place, a net revenue benefit to the community. The car driver is: polluting, passing through as fast as possible, showing that we need to get the hell out of this place, a net revenue loss to the community.

    LADOT: you might as well put a wagging neon finger and “Mother May I?” over the signal button.

    “The buck stopped here” would also be a good sign for this signal. I guess that is where we should file our complaints?


  • mmatasc

     So then what is your solution?

  • Ubrayj02

     A road diet. Lane removal or lane width reduction. Speed humps. Chicanes. Wider sidewalk right of way. Sidewalk bulb outs.

    All possible with paint. Minimal investment, maximum return. If it doesn’t work, paint is cheap. The effects are immediate.

    What I would ask of the LADOT: “Make this area safer, quieter, and stop suppressing local business and property values”. They are the engineers – let them figure out how to get you those outcomes.

  • 24fps

    There is a very similar situation on Ventura Blvd. @ Noble Ave. in Sherman Oaks. 
    One Christmas Eve while visiting a bartender friend at La Fritte for free drinks, I witness an elderly man trying to cross at Ventura at night.

    I darted across, and thought that old guy shouldn’t be trying this. I got inside and ordered a drink. Within my first sip, someone ran in shouting “call 911.” The man was hit, and died that night.

    I’m SURE a flashing light would have help him. 

    $250k too much? It wouldn’t have been that night.

  • Guest

    This may come as a surprise to you but there used to be a crosswalk on the corner of Fuller or in front to the Vegan restaurant, a few to the west of Fuller. I don’t know why it was removed sometime during the 90’s. Maybe this is something you could research or ask LADOT about, if you did not already know a crosswalk had existed prior.

  • Nigel

    Was it a simple zebra crosswalk or one with a light?  Ladot has a policy of removing the former, putting the city in the situation of having to spend the most amount of money (as infrequently as possible) on those rare occasions that it might want to do something for us bipedals.  This is the most recent of a long line of anti-urban practices this city has inflicted upon itself since the 1920s.   

    A research project for streetsblog might be to find some examples of how LA streets and intersections have been de-urbanized over the years.  Not just the more recent cross walk removals but removal of urban architecture, on street parking, treets, narrowing of sidewalks etc.  


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