2012: A Banner Year for L.A.'s Pedestrians
Though the city is still unable to find a way to fix its estimated 4,500 miles of crumbling hazardous sidewalks, at least it has started the conversation. And for the city's long-neglected pedestrians, that is something of an achievement. This week's start of a program to replace traditional pedestrian crossings with the more visible "continental" crosswalks throughout the city is just the most recent reason why Alissa Walker, and many others, are bullish about the plight of the pedestrian in traditional homeland of the automobile.
"Across the city," she says, "we’re seeing physical improvements to our streets and sidewalks as well as a changing perspective from citizens who are actively proving a certain ’80s song wrong." Among the other accomplishments from the past year: the appointment of two pedestrian coordinators by LADOT, the opening of the city’s first street-to-plaza conversion, and an investigation by the LA Weekly into the citys “epidemic” of hit-and-runs: "48 percent of traffic accidents in Los Angeles are hit-and-run offenses (much higher than the national average of 11 percent), and approximately 100 pedestrians are killed each year in Los Angeles by hit-and-run drivers."