Councilmember Martinez Opens L.A.’s First 4-Way-Stop Scramble Crossing

Nury Martinez, Seleta Reynolds and local school kids demonstrate Van Nuys' new diagonal crosswalk. All photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Nury Martinez, Seleta Reynolds and local school kids demonstrate Van Nuys' new diagonal crosswalk. All photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

This morning, Los Angeles City Councilmember Nury Martinez opened the city of Los Angeles’ first four-way-stop scramble crossing intersection. L.A.’s first non-signalized stop-sign-controlled scramble is located at the intersection of Sylvan Street and Sylmar Avenue in the community of Van Nuys. SBLA readers may already be aware that L.A. has other diagonal scramble crosswalks at signalized intersections in Hollywood, and along USC and UCLA.

The new diagonal crossing site is a block east of Van Nuys Boulevard, along the northern edge of L.A.’s Van Nuys City Hall complex, which includes various municipal offices, library, courts, child care center, and more. The Van Nuys Civic Child Development Center is located at the southeast corner of the intersection.

Martinez emphasized the importance of getting kids to school safely. She announced that this small scramble can lay some of the groundwork for a larger one that she is interested in at what she called the “most dangerous” intersection in her district: Roscoe Boulevard and Van Nuys Boulevard.

LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds emphasized Vision Zero and made a few important comparisons. It only takes 20 seconds to make the diagonal crossing at Sylmar and Sylvan, compared to 30 seconds to cross each street separately, so pedestrians crossing diagonally are exposed to car traffic for much less time. The scramble facility cost $9,000 — $6,000 of which was for sandblasting the old crosswalks — hence these 4-way-stop scramble crossings would cost only $3,000 to install at an intersection with existing zebra crosswalks. This compares to $250,000-to-$300,000 for installing a new 4-way signal.

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L.A. City Councilmember Nury Martinez speaking about the new diagonal crossing at Sylmar and Sylvan
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Councilmember Martinez cutting the ceremonial ribbon to open the new scramble intersection
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The new 4-way-stop scramble intersection is in the shadow of Van Nuys City Hall
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New diagonal crossing signage
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A closer look at the new diagonal crosswalk pavement markings at Sylvan and Sylmar in Van Nuys
  • calwatch

    It will be interesting to cross during school hours, since potentially with how kids go across there may be no gaps long enough for cars to pass for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. Normally when pedestrians cross parallel to traffic, cars can scoot across in parallel.

  • EstebanMcK

    Maybe less cars decide to use that route, making it even safer for kids.
    I don’t see a downside here, as long as drivers don’t act like raging idiots and run ids down out of impatience.

  • D Man

    It will probably result in an increase in accidents and injuries. As with almost everything they do, there is very little thought. The safest thing would be a crosswalk with a signal so there is clear direction as to who has the right of way. Garcetti and Bonin still haven’t figured out or don’t know about crosswalks with signals.

  • Meño

    amen
    well said

  • Dennis_Hindman

    Installing a signalized intersection cost about $300,000. The city is trying to do as much as they can to improve safety on the streets with the fixed amount of funds available. That means choosing between lots of paint and plastic treatments to spread the funds over a large geographical area or concentrate those funds in a much smaller area by adding expensive signalization to a few intersections annually as you are suggesting.

  • Rex Rocket

    People die in crosswalks every day when there is a clear “signal” that they have the right of way. Never underestimate the power of a driver in a hurry.

  • Added to the badintersections.com map of improved intersections.

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