Urban Fold

L.A. Police Prioritize Penalizing Pedestrians

By expanding its transit and cycling infrastructure and creating pedestrian-friendly streets, L.A. is improving access to alternative forms of transportation. But in the city's most walkable area, police are out to prove the car is still king.

"It is not quite 'Dragnet,' but the Police Department in recent weeks has issued dozens of tickets to workers, shoppers and tourists for illegally crossing the street in downtown Los Angeles," reports Adam Nagourney. "And the crackdown is raising questions about whether the authorities are taking sides with the long-dominant automobile here at the very time when a pedestrian culture is taking off, fueled by the burst of new offices, condominiums, hotels and restaurants rising in downtown Los Angeles."

In the city's most walkable area, Police are busy issuing $197 tickets for seemingly minor offenses such as entering an intersection "after the crossing signal began its red 'Don’t Walk' countdown".

“'L.A. needs jaywalking,' said Nelson Algaze, a Los Angeles architect who was born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, lives in Manhattan Beach and works downtown. 'It’s so stupid. What it does is it inhibits the vitality of Los Angeles. When you go to New York, when you go to Chicago, when it’s safe to cross the street, you just cross the street. You just do it.'”

Full Story: In a Car-Culture Clash, It’s the Los Angeles Police vs. Pedestrians

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