Man Killed in Pedestrian Crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard at Hancock

pedestrian crosswalk, pedestrian death, santa monica boulevard, hancock avenue
Scene of an accident last night in which a pedestrian was killed by a car in a crosswalk at Santa Monica Boulevard at Hancock. (Photo courtesy of Sergio Davila)

Clinton Bounds, 62, a longtime resident of West Hollywood, died after being hit by a car around 11 p.m. last night in a crosswalk in the 8700 block of Santa Monica Boulevard near Hancock.

clinton bounds, crosswalk accident, west hollywood
Clinton Bounds
Traffic Services officers in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the accident. As of 9:20 a.m. today, no charges had been filed.

Bounds, a native of San Antonio, Texas, retired from the LA County Registrar’s Office in 2008. He was a frequent patron of the gay bars on the west side of Santa Monica Boulevard and was known as a regular at Mickys, Revolver and Trunks. His Facebook page notes that he was at Mickys last night before the accident. Bounds was popular with the much younger nightlife crowd. His Facebook page contains photos of hundreds of friends, including various gay bar managers and promoters and go go dancers.

Last night’s accident is the second involving a pedestrian in a crosswalk this year. A 59-year-old man was hit in the crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard at Westmount on June 28. That pedestrian was flung into the air and landed on the car’s windshield. He was taken to the hospital and survived.

According to a report by the Sheriff’s Department earlier this year, the Hancock crosswalk, which has no warning lights, is the city’s most dangerous, with three pedestrian accidents last year and one involving a bicyclist. There also were three accidents involving pedestrians at the Palm Avenue crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard.

“It’s a tragedy, and we as a city need to respond and continue to think about how to improve pedestrian safety,” Mayor John D’Amico said of the accident. “We don’t have it right yet.”

Larry Block, one of the leaders of a citizens campaign to improve safety in the city’s pedestrian crosswalks, complained that the city wasn’t acting fast enough. “At the Public Safety (Commission) meeting, I said if another guy gets hit at a crosswalk the city will be liable because they knew that these crosswalks were dangerous,” Block said. “They allocated the money for the lights and the requests for proposals for lights have been sitting on a desk since last February.”

Block, who helped found Cross Safe WeHo, is referring to a vote by the City Council in February to authorize the city to seek bids to install flashing lights at the Hancock Avenue crosswalk and also on San Vicente Boulevard in front of the West Hollywood Library. Flashing lights already have been installed at three other locations: Santa Monica Boulevard at Westmount Drive and Orange Grove Avenue and Crescent Heights Boulevard at Norton Avenue.

During the February Council meeting, City Engineer Sharon Perlstein said it could take as long as six months before the crosswalk lights were installed.

“We’ll have to study the lighting at the intersections before it goes out to bid,” Perlstein told WEHOville. “That could take a month or two.”

Block said he has been told that the request for bids has not yet been released. City staffers have explained the delay by saying they are still studying various options for improving crosswalk safety. Block has argued that the city should install its special events flashing warning lights near crosswalks until it is able to install permanent flashing lights.

“John Heilman and I have been working on a plan with Transportation for crosswalks on Santa Monica and Sunset,” D’Amico said, referring to his fellow City Council member. “But I want to be clear, that doesn’t help the person who just died.

“As the city comes more and more of a busy place, more and more walkable, we can’t just respond. We have to be proactive… We need things that will work, not just make us feel better.”

On Aug. 3, the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station conducted a pedestrian safety operation that resulted in 40 tickets being issued to drivers and 17 to pedestrians for violating crosswalk safety laws.

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jonas
jonas
5 years ago

After my afternoon run in the hills i got hit smack on by a black BMW in the corner of Cahuenga & Franklin right on the crosswalk by a driver who said he didnt see me. I had a green man to cross but it did not help. Fortunately it was an expensive high quality car with excellent brakes and perhaps alot of luck I briefly flew up onto the bonnet but landed on my feet with very minor scratches. The driver shocked and aplogetic so we called it quits. Some LA drivers are too much in a hurry and… Read more »

Porter L Gates
Porter L Gates
5 years ago

Even in marked crossings with lights it’s hard for drivers to see people wearing dark clothing. I recommend educational commercials and ads explaining this to people. Pedestrians can see each other close up but drivers approaching from a distance can’t until it’s too late. Wear very light colors at night and maybe something reflective.

marky
6 years ago

Until the City of Weho removes the “Schmuck Crossings” on SM Blv’d — which happens to be Route 66 — there will be future predictable accidents and deaths on that stretch. What is wrong with the City of Weho to mandate these “Schmuck Crossings”?

kab1200
kab1200
6 years ago

Chris Sanger, you are obviously a shut in, I feel bad for you. There is no connection between the accident, and your comments. You might want to move to Montana. Everyone needs to stop blaming this or that. As Common Sense said, if you are the pedestrian, you need to be the one paying attention. I am sure if the driver had been at fault, they would have been arrested. This was not a hit and run. Grow up people and take responsibility for yourselves.

Common Sense
Common Sense
6 years ago

So apparently you’ve never tried crossing the street in New York or some third world country where the last thing you want to have happen is to be struck by a car? If you have, what was your mentality? Perhaps it was to be extra cautious? At any given point in time when you’re doing something that’s dangerous, are you more careful while doing it? The opposite goes for someone who sees crossing the street as being no longer ‘dangerous’. If you don’t have to worry about a threat any longer, you’ll go along as business as usual and not… Read more »

luca d
luca d
6 years ago

so many comments about this story, and what a sad shame.
all the best to his family and friends, sure seems like a great guy.
i don’t know anything about cancelling large events or trying to make something out of this tragedy, but i would like to encourage everyone to just slow down, keep a watchful eye and be safe.
bad stuff happens and it’s never going to be completely accident free. that boulevard is a wild eyed stimulus and we’re all so easily distracted.
holiday weekend, be well, be safe.

Common Sense
Common Sense
6 years ago

How about this. How about looking both ways and crossing the street when it’s safe? People are getting way too bold nowadays where they’ll walk right out into traffic and expect every car to stop in their tracks and not get hit. Don’t bank on that. I’m a proponent of repealing any crosswalk law and re-instill personal responsibility when crossing the street. Have people start to think once again “if I walk into the street without being careful, someone might not stop and hit me”, rather than “of course they’ll all stop. It’s the law and they have to. What… Read more »

brandopolo
6 years ago
Reply to  Common Sense

It may shock some of you but you can be paying full attention and be very careful…and still get hit at an unsafe crosswalk due to any number of factors, including reckless driving. Why this is news to the unsafe crosswalk apologists is anyone’s guess.

And the notion that crosswalk safety laws should be repealed and no safety measures attempted is complete and utter nonsense, the exact opposite of “common sense.” While we’re at it, let’s get rid of traffic signals and just rely on the “personal responsibility” of drivers to stop and go safely as they all choose.

mike dunn
mike dunn
6 years ago
Reply to  brandopolo

How can you get hit if you enter the crosswalk after all the vehicles have stopped unless one of those vehicles gets rear ended? Entering a crosswalk when amber lights are flashing without first observing all the vehicles have stopped is just foolish. The big problem I see is that many believe since the law says they have the right of way they step out into the street challenging vehicles that way several hundred pounds. And sometimes they lose. Why is this problem seem to be only on the Westside? The only crosswalk east of Fairfax with a flashing amber… Read more »

mike dunn
mike dunn
6 years ago

The Halloween Festival was created in response to many people celebrating overflowed into the street. I recall driving a RTD bus very carefully thru the crowd. The city decided to close the street and it grew to what it is today. What this has to do with crosswalk safety is beyond me. Crossing the street at a uncontrolled crosswalk requires ones full attention including making sure all the vehicles have stopped before stepping out in front of them. There is no reason to be taliking or texting via ones cell phone when crossing the street. It truely amazes me that… Read more »

Joe
Joe
6 years ago

Or put in a real traffic light.. The Blvd has become so congested between Kings Rd and Hancock leaving peoples safety up to an arcane stop, don’t, can’t in stop in time rules is just asking for problems.

Chris Sanger
Chris Sanger
6 years ago

I’d like to second the call to end the Halloween event. Pride, the Marathon, the Sunset Music fest are valid, but plenty of disruption. But the 500,000 estimate is nonsense. Let’s say 15,000 of WeHo residents attend (nearly all walking). That means 485,000 would have to come from outside our limits. Of that wouldn’t the majority be driving? Let’s say it averages 2 people per car. Where in the world would 120,000 cars park? The next election will come and most likely experienced, rational members will be elected or reelected fortunately. Again, if this was outside the crosswalk, which seems… Read more »

Vizzy
Vizzy
6 years ago

I live near two crosswalks – the one at Norton & Crescent Heights that has lights and the one at Hayworth and Santa Monica that does not. Both are routinely ignored by drivers and I fear for my life every time I use either of them. Where are the police to give out tickets?

PeteP
PeteP
6 years ago

Flashing lights are a waste of time and money. Just put signals in like they do on Fairfax and in Century City. They can be timed to work with the existing lights at San Vicente, Westbourne and La Cienega. This would require that pedestrians wait a bit before they could cross but the tradeoff for safety is worth it.

brandopolo
6 years ago
Reply to  PeteP

Oh this that how City Council’s minions dismiss citizen concerns and justify doing nothing to improve the lives of residents — just writing it off as “everything bad that happens in the city is council’s fault”. Hmmm. I don’t recall anyone blaming council for the two stabbing deaths on Palm this year. I don’t recall anyone blaming council for the rise of HIV again here. I don’t recall anyone blaming council for some of the bars’ lewd conduct problems. I don’t recall anyone blaming council for any number of bad, maddening, or sad events in the city that obviously have… Read more »