LA Gets Diagonal Crosswalks (again)

Last Spring when Steetfilms came to town, we talked with Urban Planner Deborah Murphy about some of the challenges pedestrians and pedestrian advocates face in Los Angeles.  Today, we wanted to highlight one of the innovative things that LADOT is doing to make pedestrians lives safer and easier in Los Angeles.

Clarence Eckerson explains:

In an effort to improve pedestrian safety and traffic flow, the City of Los Angeles recently installed
ten diagonal crosswalks/pedestrian scrambles/Barnes dances (just pick
one, they all mean the same) around the metro area. We were able to
check one out with Glenn Ogura of LADOT near the USC campus to learn a
little bit about them. Golly Jeepers! During some light phases, we saw well over 100 people taking over the intersection – just take a gander at the video.

Also, at the end of the film you’ll see the Streetfilms’ debut of one of Los Angeles’ hardest-working, dashing young bloggers.  I, of course, am referring to Eric Richardson, of Blogdowntown, who explains that the Scramble Crosswalk actually came to Los Angeles in the 1950’s before being ripped out because they slowed down car traffic.

  • Great film. Let’s hope we don’t repeat our mistakes and cite, vehicle delay as a reasons to compromise safety. I would think, from a traffic stand point that vehicles making turns at the intersection actually experience less delay with this system. It is proven that as people feel safer walking adn cycling they are more inclined to do it. (I believe streetsblog la had an article on this trend) These scramble walks are a great step in the right direction.

  • Clarence Eckerson

    What about the other hard-working blogger at the end of the video?

  • I remember finding that same article in the L.A. Times archive online several years ago and feeling really pissed off at this City. That anger has faded with time, as I now realize that L.A. has a long history of trying things and then summarily dumping them for whatever gets people to drive more.

    An interesting side-note from my research through the Times’ archives on this crosswalk topic: since the 1920’s there have been several articles that pitch the idea of elevated sidewalks along L.A.’s most busy commercial corridors in downtown. This terrible idea has been executed in several places in downtown, and it is quite effective at getting people to stop walking on the sidewalk.

  • Nice street film! I love diagonal cross walks, wish they were everywhere (regardless of how “difficult” they make it for cars). It’s safer, more efficient, and gives a larger portion of the road back to people, not cars. By the way, I love going down to the USC area and seeing the heavy bike use by students (and it’s nice to see bikes other than fixies!)

  • jessica

    Nice LA Streetsfilm – I wish we had one at the intersection in Los Feliz by the Vista movie theater – that intersection is messed up. Here’s another name to add to the list – I like to call them mash ups.


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