WeHo Councilmembers Seek Funding for Pedestrian Crosswalk Safety Campaign

Santa Monica Boulevard Crosswalk
Crosswalk warning light being installed on Santa Monica Boulevard near Westmount
West Hollywood City Councilmembers John Duran and John Heilman will ask the Council tonight to allocate $15,000 to fund a campaign to promote pedestrian safety in crosswalks.

The request comes of the heels of a citizen campaign to address perceived public safety issues at the city’s crosswalks that was sparked by a motorist hitting a pedestrian on June 28 in the crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard at Westmount.

Since that accident, West Hollywood residents, including several candidates in the 2015 race for City Council, have appeared at the city’s Transportation and Public Safety commissions to ask that more steps be taken to improve crosswalk safety. Suggestions have ranged from closing mid-block crosswalks altogether to ticketing pedestrians glued to their mobile phones while crossing busy streets along with drivers who hit them and installing crosswalk stop lights synced to traffic lights. Several of the suggestions are outlined on Cross Safe WeHo, a Facebook page created to promote the effort.

Under the proposal by Duran and Heilman, the city’s Public Safety Department would work with the Public Information Office to engage a production company to produce the announcements.

The City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica.

  1. I used to manage the Cal National Bank that was under the Trader Joe’s from 2004 to 2007. This has been a problem for YEARS. I complained about this issues back then and nothing ever came of it. The city can pass ordinances about declawing cats and the sale of fur, but something substantial like public safety seems to be secondary. I have never been able to understand this city council and I am perplexed at why people keep voting them back into office over and over and over and over and over…

  2. @Lynn – Good, practical suggestions that unfortunately will probably take years for the City to implement (if ever). However, there is a window of opportunity. The new Sprouts Market to be will be built in the vacant lot next to 24 Hour Fitness will share the parking garage with the gym. This is the perfect time to rework that intersection and we might even get the owner/developer’s support.

    I’m afraid that a $15,000 PSA video is a total waste of money unless it’s displayed on a giant video screen right in front of each cross walk. Even then, getting anyone to look it rather than their smartphone screens would be difficult. Hard to get people to take their own safety seriously.

  3. Can the city legislate common sense? Will a production company’s announcements create common sense? Do we have traffic laws and consequences for their disregard?

    Back East deer proliferate in some regions often jumping into roadways where deer previously roamed before we encroached. Signage alerts drivers to the eventuality of a calamity. Anyone who has hit a deer or had one jump through their windshield knows no one escapes unscathed. Although neither the driver nor the deer get ticketed but the consequences speak for themselves.

    Pedestrians are not deer however many of the pedestrians, especially in Weho, behave like them. Entitled, “this is my space and I can cross where and when I like and since I have the right of way, I can continue crossing with my nose in my phone because there is no infraction likely for me.” This infuriates impatient drivers who theoretically feel like taking aim on distracted folks ambling along.

    Some suggestions:

    Relocate the Huntley traffic light to Westmount (Starbucks/Trader Joes/Gym) putting one there. Make the Huntley intersection a “no left turn”. It will remove the exponential hazard of jumping deer going to and from the gym and a chicken run for drivers exiting Trader Joes wishing to eventually go East on SM Blvd and attempting to cross traffic to the far left turn lane.

    Remove flashing self activated signs and replace w legitimate traffic lights sequences according to traffic flow.

    Have a proper cross walk at the light only. Folks in nearly every busy city always have and can continue to walk to intersections and wait at the light for their own safety.

    Along with no cell phones or texting while driving
    add no cell phone use while crossing a public roadway anywhere and have the Sheriff pop up periodically to ticket offenders just like jaywalkers.

    Finally, if one cares about their own life and safety focus on the fact that we are all pedestrians and drivers. One shouldn’t cross anywhere under the assumption of safety but needs to establish eye contact before moving. Take a break, be cautious because the life you save may be your own. In Santa Monica they have “pairs eyeballs” painted on the pavement at intersections.

  4. first, please educate the drivers. tell them what the law is regarding pedestrians, then tell them west hollywood is going to ticket all offenses, then start writing the unlimited tickets.

  5. If there’s one thing we can count on..it’s city council throwing money at a situation hoping it will magically disappear.

  6. Are we talking about a PSA video? If so, where will it be broadcast/streamed and will the intended audience see it? Maybe it should be shown on the video screens at the gym (assuming it has them). Many of the people in the crosswalks are going to the gym. But the biggest problem is distracted drivers AND pedestrians. I often see people step into the crosswalks who are texting or talking on their phone and never look at the traffic. I still like the idea of flashing lights embedded in the crosswalk.

    Has anyone seen the Solar Roadways kickstarter? It would be awesome to do a test of these tiles for a crosswalk. Very cool tech that could really make a difference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTA3rnpgzU

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