Photo from L.A. Department of Transportation website
Two of Echo Park’s most dangerous intersections will be getting a new look soon with the painting of bold, striped crosswalk markings to help improve pedestrian safety. The markings – which are called continental or zebra crosswalks and are familiar to fans of the Beatle’s Abbey Road album - consist of two-foot-wide stripes painted across the street. The idea is to make drivers’ more aware they are approaching an intersection. The continental crosswalks will be painted at Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard and at Alvarado Street and Scott Avenue, which have the distinction of being among the city’s most dangerous crosswalks for pedestrians, according to the city’s Department of Transportation.
Echo Park and Sunset was ranked as the city’s ninth most dangerous crosswalk, with 18 collisions involving pedestrians. Alvarado and Scott came in at No. 50, with 13 pedestrian-related collisions (the rest of the intersections are included in the document below).
The new stripes reflect a change of direction for the Department of Transportation, according to L.A. Streetsblog. Streetsblog said the agency had long opposes such markings because of the expense:
While a recent study shows that pedestrian crashes in intersections with zebra crosswalks is over 25% lower than traditional ones, LADOT cited cost as a reason to not embrace the improved design.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants the first batch of crosswalks painted by the end of March and eventually wants all of the city’s more than 19,000 intersections to be painted with the same stripes. That will be a costly effort. Painting each crosswalk will cost an average of $2,500.