LADOT, USC Plan Changes for Crosswalk at Jefferson and Hoover

The intersection of Hoover and Jefferson was subject of a Streetfilm last year.

Following the outcry after two USC students were run down in the Crosswalk at Hoover and Jefferson, the parents of one of the students, the one who was slain, demanded that the city "fix" this intersection.  Some Streetsblog readers noted that this intersection already has one of the safest designs, a Scramble-crosswalk.  Given that pedestrians are being mowed down throughout the city, is the LADOT really going to focus on this one intersection?

Never underestimate the power and influence grieving parents can have on the political system.  The Daily Trojan reports that USC and the LADOT have worked on a plan to further improve the crosswalk.  In the short term, speed sensors, repainted crosswalks and better lighting.  In the long-term, we can expect either a pedestrian bridge or tunnel to completely separate motorized and non-motorized transportation.

However, would any of these changes really prevented the crash that killed Adriana Bachan last month?  After all, if I were a USC student coming home from a party in the early morning, I would take my chances crossing at street level rather than walk into a tunnel where who-knows-what is waiting for me. Similarly, all the lighting and paint in the world isn’t going to stop a drivers so deranged that after carrying a student 500 yards on their hood they calmly get out of the car, remove the victim, and drive off.  Yet, the article doesn’t mention any effort to increase traffic enforcement near campus.

All the engineering in the world can’t stop unsafe, uncaring drivers.  While the LADOT and USC’s intersection plans may make the intersection safer, the only thing that is going to stop deranged drivers is better and more consistant enforcement of traffic laws.  Police in the Valley seem to have already learned this lesson.  It’s a lesson that should be carried city-wide.

  • Ted

    The intersection did not cause the tragedy, but city is still responsible.

    Sanctuary-city policies and pro-gang, pro-poverty forces dominate City Hall as well as USC. The Greek system, sadly, still promotes pro-DUI, despite their protestations.

    And in the end, the unfortunate couple are to blame as well – pedestrians must ALWAYS be vigilant, especially at 3 AM. Mom, of course, would say “nothing good happens after midnite”, but that concept will always be lost on college students.

    I’ve seen too many killed on the streets of USC, as well as greater LA. Crosswalks, signals, crossing guards, etc, are just feel-good measures.

    Unless we’re willing to truly enforce existing laws against unlicensed/uninsured, hit-n-run, and DUI drivers, and unless we’re willing to raise the bar for licensing, no amount of after-the-fact “safety” measures will make a dent (ahem) in the body count.

  • Andi

    Blaming the victim does nobody any good. These students were certainly not to blame, they were using the crosswalk at the designated time and did not deserve what they got.

  • Cathy

    You need to look at the whole picture, not just the intersection. Traffic on Jefferson goes to0 fast. I drive down that street everyday to USC. Before you get to Vermont, there is a school zone and a crosswalk. I was literally run off the road one morning for doing 25 mph in a 25 mph zone. Just east of Vermont, traffic tends to back up at the parking structures. Cars whiz by, changing lanes and cutting off other drivers. Actually, there is too much fast traffic on Figueroa, Exposition, and Vermont, too. With the large number of pedestrians, there should be a mall or car-free zone around the campus.

  • The over-pass/under-pass idea is stupid – but the level of funding and civin involvement in this issue is spot on with that suggestion.

    What would be more effective at this intersection? How about putting the street on a road diet for automobile trips. Start as far down both boulevards as will make a difference and throttle down auto speeds and volume by lane width reductions and other right of way designs.

  • Im not familiar with the area, is that where the new light rail is going in? That might slow down cars.

    Also, why does LA us only two line to mark a crosswalk and not a bunch of parallel white lines all the way across which are much more visible?

  • You might think that light rail will slow down cars, but the MTA is actually forced to try and keep car speeds the same, or faster, with each light rail project. They don’t always achieve this, but that is the thrust of their road work around train stations in L.A.

    Also, the train stop is going to be a long walk from this intersection, on the other side of campus.

  • The victims are absolutely not to blame. The author of this article and the conspiracy theorist commenters should be a little more sensitive when planning issues concern human life. This wound is still very fresh here at USC.

  • I’m really confused here…is there something in the text that implies I think the two people hit are at all to blame? I would think if there was something that even raised a question as to who I thought was to blame it would be pretty clear in that last paragraph. Ya know, the one where I call the driver “deranged” and “uncaring”?

  • Nurse Riverboat

    WHY do people always look to blame the crosswalk??? The Crosswalk didn’t mow down those two unfortunate USC students!!!! Why must people blame the inanimate variable??
    Two monsters hit those late-night students and then they ran off into the black darkness of night, thinking that they got away with something.
    Do they harbor feelings of hatred against privileged members of society who can afford to attend the prestigous USC? Was this a hate crime?
    I saw that incredibly FAT bastard of a miserable man, Jose Luna on TV today, who has the gut-busting gall to find excuses for the murders he committed. His idiot baby mama rots in jail, thank GOD she can’t screw him and make more babies during her incarceration.
    People of LA should be outraged at these monsters.
    Jose Luna will take his huge ass and flee the country as soon as he possibly can. I hear the police are tracking his every move, which is very easy to do with any 300 pound person. He moves slow and doesn’t think at all.
    I say he should swing from the gallows along with that idiot baby mama of his. But he’s going to flee to Mexico – watch and see.
    Our judicial system encourages stupid people to do incredible feats of stupidity.
    But I would never stoop so low as to pin the blame on a crosswalk!!!


City Officially Unveils “Continental Crosswalk,” Promises 50 More in Next Three Months

No pedestrian left behind? At a just concluded press conference at the newly installed continental crosswalk, commonly known as a zebra crosswalk, at 5th and Spring in Downtown Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a new program to replace traditional pedestrian crossings with the more visible crosswalk pictured above. Continental crosswalks feature two-foot wide yellow […]

Who Can We Turn To When LAPD Doesn’t Know Crosswalk Laws?

Yet, a lot of our city officials still don't understand crosswalks. When an intersection has an unacceptable number of crashes, the many LAPD divisions respond by ticketing pedestrians crossing against a flashing hand, even if they get through the intersection before the hand solidifies; while drivers continue to merrily run red lights right in front of them.

Scramble Crosswalks Ready for Their Star Turn in Hollywood

Responding to community concerns that the high volume of pedestrian traffic at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue was creating an unsafe crossing, City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and the Department of Transportation recently announced that a “pedestrian scramble” will be installed by the end of the year. The pedestrian scramble, aka The Barnes Dance, […]

Pedestrian Tragedy in the Valley, Again!

This past Tuesday, early in the afternoon, 11-year-old twin sisters Sydney and Alexis left Walter Reed Middle School and began to walk home, a trip that ended at Colfax Avenue and Moorpark Street when they were hit by a car as they attempted to cross the street. By all rights, it was a tragic afternoon […]