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

3:57 PM PDT on August 14, 2017

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.

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

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