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Only in LA: DOT Wants to Remove Crosswalks to Protect Pedestrians

12:54 PM PST on January 23, 2009


(Editor's Note: Thanks to everyone who wrote in or commented that a "T Intersection" is a legal crosswalk in California regardless of whether it is striped or not.  I knew that, I was going for satire and inadvertently misled people.  Sorry for any confusion.)

Pedestrians in Los Angeles rejoice!  As news reports continue to come in of pedestrians being run down while legally crossing the street, the LADOT is working hard to stem this tragedy by making it illegal to cross the street in locations throughout the city.  Longtime Assistant General Manager John Fisher tells Stephen Box, in reaction to a story published earlier this week in LAist about the LADOT's "study" of whether or not to remove an unsignalized crosswalk in the NoHo Arts District:

John Fisher, Assistant General Manager of the LADOT explained that theydid a study a several years ago and they reviewed 7 years of data,determining that the removal of crosswalks resulted in a 61% reductionin pedestrian collisions. As a result, the department routinely looksat the crosswalks in Los Angeles and evaluates them for removal. Fisheradds, "Of course, if this location is an activity center, then thiswould be taken into consideration as we evaluate the crosswalk, theflow of traffic and the volume, the pedestrian activity and thecommunity response."

(When Fisher was asked if the reduction ofped collisions might be due to a reduction in pedestrians, heacknowledged that it might be an explanation but was not part of thestudy)

Feeling safer yet?  To find out more about the NoHo Crosswalk and how you can help save it, read on after the jump.


LAist lays paints the picture in NoHo:

...they are now proposing to take away a crosswalk at a vitalintersection that connects dense housing to commercial businesses. Isthis redevelopment gone backwards?

Just north of Magnolia Avenue at Blakesleeis the site of three mixed use developments, two of which that recentlyopened and are not 100 percent occupied. South of Magnolia lies theirmost directly accessible set of local businesses such as the populardiner EAT, Starbucks and a myriad of other services.

And Soap Box LA has the community response:

Nancy Bianconi of the NoHo Arts District was shocked to find outthat the LADOT was considering the removal of the crosswalk, exclaiming"If anything we need a smart crosswalk, one complemented by lights andtraffic calming that supports the vibrant streetlife that we areworking to create in the NoHo Arts District."

Linda Fulton,owner of the Avery Schreiber Theatre, points out that the city has madea lot of money off that crosswalk, writing tickets to motorists whodon't yield to the pedestrians. "There are 7 theatres betweenLankershim and Magnolia, there is lots of mixed-use development onMagnolia, all drawing pedestrians to this community, and we need tosupport the pedestrians, not abandon them in favor of improving theflow of traffic."

So, the stage is set.  The LADOT wants to protect pedestrians by restricting their ability to cross the street while the community is crying out for better accomadations.  The first step is to save this crosswalk, and we've had some success in the past by flooding the number LADOT placed for comments with negative reaction.  So grab your phones and let the LADOT know there are better ways to make the streets safe for pedestrians.

Photo of Sign: SoapBoxLA; Photo of Street: LAist

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