DIY Crosswalks Appear in Hollywood

A group claiming the city of Los Angeles fails to protect pedestrians is taking action on their own, painting a set of crosswalks at a busy residential intersection.

April 4, 2022, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

In a nod to tactical urbanism, an anonymous group calling itself Crosswalk Collective LA is taking on the pedestrian safety crisis by painting crosswalks themselves, reports Vanessa Romo. "A series of striped crosswalks suddenly appeared at a busy residential intersection, and the secretive group that claims it's behind the do-it-yourself project says it has more in the works."

"'We are a small group of community members who have tried for years to request crosswalks and other safe streets infrastructure the official way,' they told NPR in a statement." According to the Collective, "At every turn, we've been met with delays, excuses, and inaction from our city government, as well as active hostility to safe streets projects from sitting councilmembers."

With one pedestrian killed every three days in Los Angeles, the city's death rate is "four times the national average," the article states. The Collective's actions have spurred requests for guidance from activists in other cities. 

City officials, meanwhile, aren't as thrilled. "LA Department of Transportation spokesman Colin Sweeney said the public's best bet to ensure safety measures are properly installed, is to go through the proper channels." As Romo notes, "The city has a history of quickly buffing out painted street and sidewalk DIY modifications, whether they're guerilla bike lanes or more artistic safety projects that highlight the city's deteriorating infrastructure." LADOT also claims that no requests for crosswalks at the intersection in question have been submitted to the department, and that requests are evaluated and installed where appropriate, but admit that the process can be excruciatingly slow.

Thursday, March 31, 2022 in NPR

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