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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Echo Park crosswalks to get a continental look

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.

 

10 comments

  1. I think Echopark needs a longer green and/or a No Left Turn sign during rush hour.. the problem is that when you’re coming off the freeway you can get stuck at that light for a while and I think some people get pretty hasty..

    And Scott/Alvarado needs to be BRIGHTER.. the street lights and the stop lights..

    Not sure how much this has contributed to pedestrian safety.. but it’s needed.

  2. Good idea. Pedestrians at those intersections need all the help they can get.

  3. Also, the crosswalk on Sunset and Portia has those blinking lights for the cars to see, which is great, but the pedestrians have no way of telling when they are blinking so they just stand there!

  4. Glad to see LADOT is finally using these, and with the stop line pulled back a couple feet too… should send a much stronger message to motorists to look out for pedestrians.

  5. LADOT has resisted this in the past, and it’s good to see them getting on board. At a meeting in Eagle Rock, I heard an LADOT representative say they were too expensive because they required more paint than standard crosswalks.

  6. I think this is a great idea. In fact, I wish they would paint ALL the crosswalks this way along the Glendale/Alvarado corridor, between the 2 and 101 freeways. Safer for pedestrians, certainly, and also as a reminder to rush hour motorists that one MUST NOT enter the intersection unless they are able to drive all the way through. Maybe the wide stripes will work where the ineffectual “Don’t block intersection” signs do not. I’m sick of gridlock due to stupid people.

  7. Anybody notice the motorcycle cops pulling people over near Berkely/Glendale Blvd. They should put a sign up that says no right hand turn on a red if they are gonna be collecting endless dollars a few days a week. I didn’t get one, but beware.

  8. $2500 to paint EACH crosswalk? Are you kidding me? I think it is time for the city to find a more reasonably priced painting contractor. Even the longest and widest crosswalk should not cost half of $2500 to paint!!!!!!

  9. I agree the cost is offensive. I believe corrupt contracts is where most of the tax money goes. Same with LAUSD.

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