Only in LA: DOT Wants to Remove Crosswalks to Protect Pedestrians
(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 they
did a study a several years ago and they reviewed 7 years of data,
determining that the removal of crosswalks resulted in a 61% reduction
in pedestrian collisions. As a result, the department routinely looks
at the crosswalks in Los Angeles and evaluates them for removal. Fisher
adds, "Of course, if this location is an activity center, then this
would be taken into consideration as we evaluate the crosswalk, the
flow of traffic and the volume, the pedestrian activity and the
(When Fisher was asked if the reduction of
ped collisions might be due to a reduction in pedestrians, he
acknowledged that it might be an explanation but was not part of the
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 vital
intersection that connects dense housing to commercial businesses. Is
this redevelopment gone backwards?
Just north of Magnolia Avenue at Blakeslee
is the site of three mixed use developments, two of which that recently
opened and are not 100 percent occupied. South of Magnolia lies their
most directly accessible set of local businesses such as the popular
diner 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 out
that the LADOT was considering the removal of the crosswalk, exclaiming
"If anything we need a smart crosswalk, one complemented by lights and
traffic calming that supports the vibrant streetlife that we are
working to create in the NoHo Arts District."
owner of the Avery Schreiber Theatre, points out that the city has made
a lot of money off that crosswalk, writing tickets to motorists who
don’t yield to the pedestrians. "There are 7 theatres between
Lankershim and Magnolia, there is lots of mixed-use development on
Magnolia, all drawing pedestrians to this community, and we need to
support the pedestrians, not abandon them in favor of improving the
flow 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