Silver Lake pedestrian hit crossing Rowena

Fire department vehicles at crash scene |YouTube

Fire department vehicles at crash scene |YouTube

SILVER LAKE — A man walking across Rowena Avenue on Sunday night was struck by a vehicle on  a stretch of roadway that officials have been trying to make safer.

Residents reported that the pedestrian was struck at about 7 p.m. near the Rowena and Herkimer Street outside of Blair’s restaurant.  “The driver did remain on the scene,” said Jerome Courshon, who has been involved in efforts to improve safety along Rowena . “He was extremely shaken up.”

An official with the L.A. Fire Department said the injured pedestrian was transported to a medical facility but had no information on his condition or type of injuries.  A detective with the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division said the collision was not reported to his unit, which receives reports of traffic-related fatalities and major injuries.

Rowena has been the subject of controversial efforts to slow traffic and improve safety through a variety of measures, including the reduction of traffic lanes through a road diet.  The steps were taken after a woman was struck by a car and killed on Rowena in 2012 after she left Edendale Grill.

City transportation officials and many cycling and pedestrian activist have said the road diet has helped reduce collisions. But many neighbors have complained that cut-through traffic has raised safety concerns on narrow side streets while no crosswalks have been added on Rowena and street lighting remains inadequate.

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  1. How many comments will this get? 100? 200?

    Will any of them address one of the bigger issues with Rowena — people choosing to run across a poorly lit street instead of a going to the signals/crosswalks?

    • YEEESSSSSS to this.

    • Stretches of Rowena are very dark, and I don’t believe it’s unreasonable to expect pedestrians to exercise common sense/caution. Even if a car is going the speed limit it can inflict quite a bit of injury, so please be careful. It’s not that far to walk to the light and cross there.

      • True and good advice in general. Crash mortality rates for 35 mph are around 40% while that number rockets to 80% mortality at 45 mph.

        This looks like a street lighting issue but I have not examined the data for that particular stretch yet …

    • Gee, I know I said that very thing about the accident that was used to justify the road diet. In that one, the pedestrian darted out from behind parked cars, in the dark, in mid-block, in front of a car and got hit.

      Perhaps calming traffic is not the issue, Perhaps the pedestrians need to be calmed and get a little sense in their heads. Cross the the crosswalks, anything else is illegal — for a very good reason. Look both ways before crossing, no matter where you cross of it it is regulated by a traffic light. These are lessons kids are supposed to learn by kindergarten. But we have adults running around here who still have not learned them — and then the road diet crowd exploits an accident and screams about and villifies the drivers and creates such a din that no common sense or reason can prevail.

      • Don’t discount the horrible lighting conditions on the street.

        Oh, and don’t just blame the victim, given that you don’t the details.

      • Nice to see someone gets it. A driver of a car has many jobs. Accelerating, breaking, looking right ,left, behind ,shifting looking at 3 mirrors not to mention distractions cell phone, radio, children, nagging wife etc. A driver has much to do. A pedestrian has but one job….NOT TO GET HIT BY A F…ING CAR!!!! Get it now?

      • I read that this person was crossing at the corner, which is considered to be a legal crossing. It is not illegal to cross the street on foot at an intersection. It is totally legal. It’s called an “unmarked crosswalk”. Everyone blames the pedestrians. Please learn the traffic laws before you spout your inaccuracies.

      • Thank you, Henry!

    • @Bob: ANY intersection is a legal crosswalk, whether marked or not. I’m sure you don’t know this, but now you do.
      (And if you don’t believe this, go look it up online. California Vehicle Code Handbook.)

    • It’s pretty obvious that if the road diet did not work to increase safety for pedestrians, then the road must be eliminated completely to achieve that goal. We can turn it into green space and low income housing for all the homeless in the area.

  2. How many comments will it take to blame the victim? Oh, one? The very first one? Oh, cool way to be.

    • Not blaming. Everyone needs to take a reasonable amount of responsibility for their own safety and use common sense. Plus, if you’ve had a glass of wine or two, your speed/distance judgement may be compromised. It’s not always the driver’s fault.

  3. 2 street lights at Blair’s burned out since before road diet meeting.

  4. Um, Jerome Courshon’s involvement in “efforts to improve safety along Rowena” has largely been marked by FIGHTING traffic-calming on Rowena. While his motive may be to improve safety on surrounding streets that receive cut-through traffic — something which does indeed need to be addressed — he wants to do this at the expense of safety on Rowena.

    Perhaps he does support increased lighting on Rowena (something that a lot of people in favor of traffic-calming on that street would readily support)? But if so, he does it in the context of otherwise reducing safety on Rowena by reversing the traffic-calming measures that have been implemented. Perhaps there are other nuances to his opposition to traffic-calming on Rowena, but this Eastsider article definitely requires a correction/clarification regarding his stance.

    At the town hall meeting on the issue last month, some residents unfortunately experiencing increased cut-through traffic on streets in the vicinity of Rowena still expressed support for the traffic-calming on that street. They recognize that there are ways to deal with cut-through traffic that won’t affect safety on Rowena, which statistics show has seen less collisions since traffic-calming was implemented. We all deserve safe streets, and we shouldn’t be creating any losers here.

    Let’s hope that this pedestrian recovers completely and quickly, and that the hit-and-run driver is caught. This incident does show that there’s more that needs to be done to make Rowena safer, such as better lighting and flashing or signaled crosswalks. Better yet, extend such safety measures further down Glendale Blvd., which is also unsafe for pedestrians.

    You can see residents who live on and in the vicinity of Rowena, as well as Mr. Courshon himself, speaking at the town hall meeting on the issue last month here:

    • It wasn’t a hit-and-run driver.

    • Pedestrians exercising safety and caution needs to be part of the equation as well.

    • Actually, his incident doesn’t show that traffic needs more calming. It shows that pedestrians have to be careful if they want to be safe, they have to stop doing things that kids are supposed to know not to do — the accidents that have been cited on Rowena were ones in which the pedestrian crossed in midblock in the dark right in front of oncoming traffic. The crackdown should be on the pedestrians.

      • In this case the pedestrian was crossing at a legal “unmarked” crosswalk. Here’s the link to the CA vehicle code http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&group=21001-22000&file=21949-21971. As for traffic calming, it is indeed necessary. Thanks to the road diet, collisions have already been reduced by 50% and the average speed has been reduced to 35 mph (the marked speed limit). Better lighting (which LADOT says will be in place by November) will also help.

        • Crossing in a legal but unmarked crosswalk would require even more vigilance from the pedestrian, right?

          • Absolutely. Let’s not rush to blame the victim just yet though. At the very least out of respect for the family. Pretty callous and unsubstantiated remarks in the comments which is both unsurprising and sad.

            We need more facts. It could very well be the peds fault if he/she stepped out in front of a moving vehicle.

        • So a pedestrian ran out at night and got hit by a car. Great road diet there.

        • @SL Papa: Collisions have not been reduced by 50%, that’s a complete lie. Secondly, the PEDESTRIAN INJURY rate has remained the same, from pre-road diet, to now. HOW anyone can say Rowena is safer…? You are out to lunch. Bulb in the chandelier is burned out. One of the tools missing from the shed.

          And then there’s all the accidents now on the cut-through streets, that NEVER happened before. The road diet is BS, it’s a failure, and it needs fixing.

          • Uh yes the side streets were effected before the road diet. Why were there speed bumps on Angus and Armstrong before the road diet? Why was there a stop sign put in place at Kenilworth and Angus before the road diet. Why was there a no right turn implemented at Waverly and Glendale? You need the reality check.

          • @SL Papa: LOL. Were you even living here in 2004? That’s when traffic was restricted from entering Waverly from Glendale Boulevard. And it was NOT to stop cut-through traffic, lol. But you don’t know why this was done, you’re just naming one of several things — to support your argument — that had nothing to do with cut-through traffic. You’re hilarious. CLEARLY, you are a bike fanatic, because your making phony arguments, and quoting false events to support your argument. This is what bike fanatics do.

            And since you probably don’t live in the area, you should know that there are NO speed bumps on Angus. There’s one speed hump, but it’s a hump, not a bump. This is an actual difference in construction. Nice try though.

          • Go and look at Angus between West Silver Lake and Lakewood. Big sign “BUMPS”. and yes a speed bump as ineffective as it may be.

          • @SL Papa: It doesn’t matter what the sign says. It is a SPEED HUMP, ya idiot. Learn the difference.

  5. My bad. My eyes initially saw the quote as “The driver didn’t remain on the scene.”

  6. The guy was jaywalking, and there is a crosswalk a block away. It is unfortunate that somebody got hurt, but this is a clear case of someone who prioritized convenience over his own safety. People jaywalk across this street incessantly. The options to deal with it are: put in several more crosswalks, reducing Rowena traffic to a complete standstill, or get people to stop jaywalking for the love of God. Put a cop there for a few days and give out a few dozen jaywalking tickets and see if that helps.

    This isn’t an urban design problem, this is a “lazy people being impatient” problem.

      • Thanks SLPapa. Lots of people aren’t aware that every intersection is a legal crosswalk, whether it’s marked or not. Even many cops aren’t aware of this, as shown in collision data which blames the pedestrian for being hit while crossing at unmarked intersections.

        If a pedestrian steps in the street at an unmarked intersection, drivers are legally required to stop.

        • Yes, but simply because it’s the law doesn’t mean it’s wise to step in front of two lanes of traffic on a dark street. Or, as I’ve often seen, in front of three lanes of moving traffic. Patience and safety.

          • What’s your point? It’s also not wise to speed, tailgate, turn without a signal, use your cell phone while driving, etc.

            We don’t know the details of this story, except that it was dark and the person was legally crossing the street. My default is to fault the driver of the 2 ton vehicle, yours is to fault the victim. So be it.

  7. Rowena again! It seems to be at least part of the problem with Rowena that they put the alcohol on one side of the street and the parking on the other.

  8. I drive like a granny and I’ve had near misses with pedestrians on Rowena largely due to the crap-assed lighting. The stretch from Blairs to just past Michelangelo’s has terrible visibility.

  9. The road diet on Rowena works as “traffic calming”, which actually slows down vehicle traffic in an effort to create a safer environment for those biking, walking, and driving on the road. It makes it so a driver has a longer period of time to react and hit the brakes in the event of a potential collision.

    And this incident may actually be an example of another effect, that if a pedestrian or bicyclist is hit by a car, the slower the car is going, the more likely they are to survive the crash (https://www.aaafoundation.org/sites/default/files/2011PedestrianRiskVsSpeed.pdf). I’m interested to see how fast this car was going, since maybe the reduced number of lanes caused them to go slower than they would have been otherwise, potentially saving this pedestrian’s life.

    • “Traffic calming” in this circumstance does not address the issue. This and an earlier ped v. auto accident occurred during non-peak traffic times (7pm and around midnight). “Traffic calming” only works when there are sufficient cars to back up traffic.. If there is no traffic, drivers will travel at the same speed regardless of whether there is one lane or two.

      • Not true. The road diet has reduced unimpeded speeds (no congestion) by 4 mph down to 35 mph from 39. That reduction has a significant effect on the fatality rate in pedestrian / motor vehicle accidents.

        • @SL Papa: You are lying. It’s not 4mph (which is still ludicrous), it is 3mph. From 39mph to 36mph. Get your stats right. Stop lying. Hell, it’s only 1mph, but c’mon, be truthful.

          • LADOT said average speed had been reduced from an average of 38-39 mph to the stated speed limit 35mph. As statistics have shown even small reductions in speed have large consequences on fatalities. Not to mention the 50% reduction in collisions on Rowena. You are the LIAR by claiming that the road diet has had no effect on safety. WHy not just admit you care nothing about safety and only about your selfish need to speed down Rowena to get to Gelsons 3 minutes faster.

        • @SL Papa: NO. DOT’s stats said the speed was 39mph pre-road diet, and it’s now 36mph post-road diet. Get yer facts straight, son.

          And your “50% reduction in crashes”? LOL, that is a complete lie. And you know it. But go ahead, spin and lie, because the truth doesn’t serve your narrative. The truth is, the road diet is a failure. It’s done nothing for safety. You just want to keep the bike lanes that GO NOWHERE. That’s all you care about, and you know it. You are a selfish, selfish person. Just like the rest of the bike fanatics.

          • This figure was quoted both in the L.A. times and by the LAPD and LADOT at the Rowena Town Hall. Who’s the LIAR here. You are!

          • @SL Papa: LOLOL. Read the LA Times story again. Seriously, read it again. They only quote one direction being affected by 3mph, from 39mph to 36mph. It right there, in print an online. You are quoting misinformation. Furthermore, the LAPD did NOT quote any traffic statistics at the town hall. What is your problem? Really? Everything you say here is misinformation at best, and a lie at worst.

            And even DOT quoted the same stat at the town hall that they gave the LA Times. You, Sir are a complete liar.

          • http://www.latimes.com/local/cityhall/la-me-mobility-traffic-20150816-story.html

            “City officials say the reduction led to tangible results: seven crashes during an eight-month period of 2013, compared with 15 in 2008. But residents contend there were also unintended consequences: major traffic backups during rush hour that have sent cars darting onto quieter side streets.”

            “After the road diet was put in place, city officials found that the average speed for 85% of drivers on the avenue had declined. Average speeds of those who traveled west decreased by 3 mph, down from 39 mph to 36 mph. Eastbound average travel speeds were lowered to 35 mph — the legal limit for that corridor, according to Department of Transportation spokesman Bruce Gillman.” NOTE – EASTBOUND TRAVEL SPEEDS LOWERED TO 35 MPH

            “Reducing a vehicle’s speed by a few miles per hour can significantly reduce the risk of severe injury for pedestrians and cyclists, experts say. Pedestrians face a 25% chance of severe injury if they are hit by a car driving 23 mph, according to studies performed for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. When the car is going 39 mph, the risk rises to 75%.”

          • @SL Papa: LOLOL. You just proved me right by linking and quoting. 39mph down to 35mph.

            Notice that on the Eastbound stat, where it says it came down to 35, they don’t say DOWN FROM WHAT ON THE EASTBOUND MPH. They did not say it was down from 39mph heading eastbound. So we don’t know, and you cannot legitimately say it was 39mph eastbound because DOT did not specify that. Idiot.

          • 39mph down to 36mph. Even I can write a typo and admit it.

      • Seriously? You stole my username? Weirdo…

    • How ridiculous! So you’re assuming people will get hit, but a car going 4 miles slower is the goal? How about we focus on people not getting hit at all? WTF?

    • @banana: Regardless of how fast (or slow) this driver was going, people speed on Rowena ALL THE TIME. Anytime after rush hour when the congestion is gone, people speed. The road diet has done NOTHING to slow traffic down.

      And anyone saying traffic is slower? DOT’s own stats show a measly 3mph difference since the road diet has been there! That’s 3 — THREE mph. Ludicrous, just ludicrous. The road diet for 3mph, which has done nothing but cause traffic to crawl at rush hours, and cause thousands of cars to migrate to cut-through streets making those more dangerous, and has done nothing to slow speeding. A COMPLETE FAILURE.

      This road diet needs to be REVERSED, and REAL traffic calming measures implemented. REAL ones, not FAKE ones.

  10. If only we implemented even 10% of the proven solutions already in use across the world as described here: http://www.pps.org/reference/livememtraffic/

  11. Silver Lake Resident

    CORRECTION: Jerome Courshon has been advocating REMOVING the proven and successful safety measures on Rowena Ave. It is Orwellian to call him a safety advocate.

    • The traffic warning signs like “Expect Delays” “Prepare to stop” and the famous “Fines doubled in construction zone” Seem to me to be Orwellian in nature.
      As well as the government refusing to admit their mistake. The walk, bike, anti car lobby has forced this road diet traffic calming mentality on the rest of us created gridlock (which they seem to love) and even the so called traffic experts have agreed that this was a mistake. Kind of typical their solution to fix the mess is not to return Rowena to two car lanes and admit their mistake. But to increase law enforcement patrols on the residential streets, harassing the drivers avoiding the mess because they dare to not stop completely at a four way stop sign. Like you hypocrites never roll threw a stop sign making a right turn. LIARS!!!

      • There has been no consensus among traffic experts that the road diet was a “mistake”. One rofficial made that comment and was most likely referring to the fact that cut through traffic was not taken into consideration. Most would agree that a 50% reduction in collisions and reduced speeds on Rowena would make it a safety success!. And STFU if you are driving recklessly on side streets – you deserve a ticket.

      • @R Patton: Yes, the bike fanatics really are just that — liars, hypocrites, and above all else — the most SELFISH people in this city. They only care about themselves and their biking ability around LA. They don’t give a F about anything else. A concerned mother whose child must walk Angus during rush hour to get to school in the morning? They don’t a f**k. An elderly person who cannot bike to Gelson’s? They don’t give a f**k. Pedestrians nearly being hit on the cut-through streets? They don’t give a f**k. People having their cars hit and side mirrors taken off on the cut-through streets, costing some enormous amounts of money? They don’t give a f**k.

        To the bike fanatics: You do yourself a real disservice. Your extreme selfishness precludes you from having or getting support from reasonable people, who never had anything against you in the first place. But your unreasonably behavior, and your constant attacking of the neighbors that actually live in the area who are trying to address the problems? That’s sad.

        • @SLer only one who is “selfish” and a “liar’ here is you. Look in the mirror. When presented with FACTS about the INCREASED SAFETY on Rowena you resort to calling anyone who is pro road diet a “fanatic” and claim they don’t “give a f**k”.

          Anyone who was in attendance at the Rowena Town Hall could attest that all of the neighbors there -bikers, drivers and pedestrians were concerned about safety for ALL on ALL STREETS.

          Solutions are being sought for mitigating the problems on the cut-through streets (which is a problem city-wide not just by Rowena – so other causes also need to be examined) Apparently that is not enough for you – so I guess your real concern is not safety at all, but the ability for you to race your car down Rowena at 55mph unimpeded by those pesky pedestrians or selfish adults and children on bikes.

          • And adding some more FACTS here. LADOT did a study of vehicle throughput on Rowena during rush hour and found that the number of cars on Rowena showed a slight decrease in one direction and an INCREASE on the other after the road diet was implemented. In other words, the number of cars driving on Rowena during rush hour has remained just about the same after the road diet. If the road diet were the sole cause of the claimed “1000s” of cars cutting through we would have seen a large decrease in the throughput during rush hour as those cars would be assumed to be taking side streets. So if we really want to look at causes of cut through traffic we should look beyond the road diet and at other causes.

          • @SL Papa: OH, YEAH, RIGHT, like I’m gonna believe some phony numbers DOT speaks about — from a non-study. As you know, they did NO study of any kind pre-road diet. No official study of any kind.

            You wanna argue about whether traffic increased on the cut-through streets? Really? Then we would have to include the fact that — according to DOT’s numbers, of some gathering they did on the surrounding streets — that traffic increased DRAMATICALLY on the cut-through streets.

            So you can’t have it both ways. If you believe DOT’s numbers are accurate, then they also are for the cut-through streets, that show dramatic increases in cars.

          • Just saying the road diet is not the SOLE CAUSE. Cut through traffic is up throughout the city. Also not saying nothing should be done. SLer you know full well that DOT is working on reducing cut through traffic on Waverly and Angus.

    • @Silver Lake Resident: That’s a lie, too. The guy has been advocating for safer streets, all around. Safer on the “cut-through” streets, and safer on Rowena. It’s actually people like Don Ward and Matthew Mooney and others in their group — and you here — who claim that the residents around Rowena are against safety. That’s what’s Orwellian here. The bike fanatics calling out the residents as liars, and killers (like the bike fanatic quoted in a previous Eastsider piece). In fact, I would not be surprised if “Silver Lake Resident” was actually Don Ward or Matthew Mooney or Robert Peppey. Would not be surprised at all.

  12. I am sure, as he recuperates in the hospital, he can rest soundly that he crossed in an unmarked crosswalk. Give me a break, The only safety feature we have as pedestrians is the crosswalk. When you ignore common sense, whether it’s an “unmarked crosswalk” or not, you are asking for trouble.

    • You have no idea if this person ignored common sense. Unless, by your standards, it’s only common sense to stay indoors at all times.

    • I blame the monster behind the wheel.

    • Actually, at the Rowena townhall, both the police and LA DOT said that marked crosswalks have far more injuries than unmarked crosswalks. At marked crosswalks, pedestrians feel secure and step into the street without looking. There is no false sense of security at an unmarked crosswalk, so people tend to be more cautious when crossing in one.

  13. I know that people have taken strong stands on the road diet and that may influence some of the things said. However, the proof is in the pudding. The road diet really has not made the street safer. People use the middle lane to pass other cars and we have the cut through traffic which sends these same mad men who need to be “calmed” careening down much narrower streets where there have been documented incidents of road rage because there’s not enough room for 2 cars to pass each other. We ca not “fix” a problem by creating another one. We need lights and more lit pedestrian crossings on Rowena, then pedestrians will be safer.

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