Crosswalk Safety Advocates Launch Online Drive to Petition WeHo Council

west hollywood crosswalk, pedestrian crosswalk
West Hollywood, which encompasses 1.89 square miles, has 57 crosswalks near traffic lights and 52 crosswalks not near traffic lights, three of which have flashing beacon lights installed to warn drivers that pedestrians are crossing.

Larry Block, owner of the Block Party store and a candidate in the 2015 West Hollywood City Council race, has launched an online campaign to petition the Council to install mid-block signals at pedestrian crossings on Santa Monica Boulevard and near Palm and Hancock.

pedestrian crosswalk, santa monica boulevard, west hollywood demonstration, clinton bounds
Demonstrators walked back and forth in the pedestrian crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard at Hancock to protest the death Saturday of Clinton Bounds
The Change.org petition, which went live a little after 4 p.m. today, is headlined: “We need Safe Crosswalks. Install mid-block crossing signals at the intersections of Santa Monica Blvd @ Palm and Hancock Drives.”

“4 people have died at these intersections since May 4th 2013,” the petition reads. “Many more have been injured and thousands more have been threatened. These crosswalks are unsafe and need to be protected.

“Mehmet Tasci killed on the crosswalk @ Hancock and Santa Monica Blvd. 5/3/2013

“Clint Bounds killed on the crosswalk @ Hancock and Santa Monica Blvd. 8/22/2014

“Unnamed persons, 2 of them, killed on the crosswalk @ Palm and Santa Monica 2/10/13

“These intersections are still the same. No updates have been procured.”

The petition is the latest effort by a group of local residents to spur city officials to act quickly to improve the safety of pedestrian crosswalks. When a man was injured in a crosswalk on Santa Monica Boulevard at Westmount in April, Block and others created Cross Safe WeHo to campaign for crosswalk safety enhancements and appeared at the city’s Transportation and Public Safety commissions and at City Council meetings to make their case.

On Friday, Clinton Bounds, a 62-year-old man well known in the city’s gay community, was killed by a motorist while crossing Santa Monica Boulevard near Hancock around 11 p.m. Bounds’ death sparked a demonstration on Sunday in which residents marched back and forth across the Hancock crosswalk carrying signs with slogans like “West Hollywood Do Something” and “No More Deaths.”

While Bounds’s death has galvanized the crosswalk safety activists, photographs of the scene of the accident and eyewitness accounts suggest he actually was jaywalking some distance from the crosswalk when he was hit.

City staffers are assessing various options to improve crosswalk safety. And an effort is underway to assemble a joint meeting of the Transportation and Public Safety commissions to discuss the issue.


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Chris Sanger
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Chris Sanger

For what it’s worth – there was a burglar alarm call across the street from me. As the 3 sheriff’s deputies left, I asked if they knew anything about this incident. None was directly involved, but they said their understanding was that Mr. Bounds was jaywalking. When I asked if there was any chance someone whose car hit and killed someone who was in a crosswalk would not be charged, they said that was inconceivable – even if there were (unlikely) extenuating circumstances they would still charge and let the courts see if they accepted the excuse. This is relevant… Read more »

Larry Block
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We need one more signature to hit 300! Wont you share or click on the link above to get our crosswalks updated. Clinton died a week ago today and the crosswalk still looks the same, no warning signs, no police monitoring.. its ridiculous that there is no sense of urgency. Sign the change.org petition link above. A copy goes directly to city hall!

BlueEyedBoy
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BlueEyedBoy

…….. and I don’t know where this guy was going, of course, but only that he was going in the DIRECTION of BoysTown.

BlueEyedBoy
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BlueEyedBoy

No, Nickadoo (cool name, by the way), the guy I watched crossed Westbourne and continued to walk west. He was well past the bus stop. I cross at that intersection all the time and if you press the button to cross, it has never failed to give me the cross signal within a short time. There are indeed mostly east and west turns at that intersection, and I couldn’t comment on the comparable danger, but if there were an accident, there is no way the City could be held liable. That is not the case with the crosswalks, as evidenced… Read more »

Nickadoo
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Nickadoo

@ BlueEyedBoy: “My point is, why couldn’t he have crossed at that intersection at Westbourne to continue his westward trek rather than hold up traffic at the crosswalk?” I can think of one reason way: The walk signal at Westbourne often doesn’t change. Pedestrians will occasionally need to wait for one or two passes before getting a walk sign. North and south bound traffic often does not pass across the intersection, but instead turn east or west on SMB. Vehicles often turn without regard for pedestrians (particularly those traveling north as the hill gives them poor visibility), making this intersection… Read more »

BlueEyedBoy
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BlueEyedBoy

Flores St., I realized yesterday after I entered that last post here, I had used a bad example. I don’t know what I was thinking. But yesterday, while standing at the window on the second floor of 24 Hour, I watched a guy walking west towards the gym who used the crosswalk there to go to the north side of SMB. Of course cars stopped for him. However, as I watched, he continued on walking west through the intersection at Westbourne. My point is, why couldn’t he have crossed at that intersection at Westbourne to continue his westward trek rather… Read more »

Flores St.
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Flores St.

BlueEyedBoy, in terms of your safety concern, I agree with you 100%. That is why I do not support the crosswalks in current form. I believe we need to have traffic signals at the crosswalks.

In terms of your example, I am not experienced with using that crosswalk. The one I use the most is the one between 24 Hr and Starbucks/Trader Joe’s. Perhaps the one that you cite is unnecessary, but I think the one I cite is vital since there are major businesses on both sides of SM Blvd in that spot.

mike dunn
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mike dunn

Clint was killed crossing the street. But apparently he did not wait until all the traffic had stopped. Even if the vehicle had stooped and then proceeded on hitting him he would not have been knocked several feet. Unfortunatly it appears either he was not paying attention or he was in a rush and failed to cross when it was safe to do so. And that’s the bottom line, pedestrians get hit when they don’t pay attention when crossing and amber lights or traffic signals will not change the outcome.

Manny
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Manny

Hey BlueEyed….like I said, what you do is perfectly reasonable and, i guess, extremely considerate to motorists. But I like the crosswalks because sometimes I just don’t have the luxury to triple my walk time just to fetch a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I also do not challenge cars or lazy-walk across the street. I don’t really have any problem or concern about stopping cars for my convenience because chose to live in a walkable city. As a motorist, the interruption I face when stopping for a pedestrian is insignificant to my travel plan and an expectation that I… Read more »

Flores St.
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Flores St.

Blue Eyed Boy, it really just depends on how you are approaching the idea of what we want our city to be like. Should the convenience factor always be skewed towards the drivers, or should it be more balanced in some areas of the city where we have more density? You are both a pedestrian and a driver who believes our primary concern should be the convenience of the drivers. In that section of SM Blvd, I disagree. On the freeway, I agree. I can just as easily say, “I think nothing of potentially stopping at a few more intersections.… Read more »

BlueEyedBoy
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BlueEyedBoy

Flores St., the bottom line for me in this discussion is safety. When an error is made between a pedestrian and a car, the pedestrian has the most to lose. My emphasis is less on convenience for drivers than you may think. I do think, however, that those crosswalks are used far more than they really need to be. Let’s go back to the example I used before. When I am going to 24 Hour from home on Fountain, why shouldn’t I cross at LaCienega when traffic is stopped anyway, rather than cross later at the crosswalk and cause traffic… Read more »

Chris Sanger
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Chris Sanger

For those who say cross only at lights – Doheny goes from Sunset to Santa Monica – maybe 2/3s of mile – with no lights. Pedestrians have the right of way at all the several intersections (Phyllis, Cynthia, Elevado, and then the WeHo streets that don’t continue into Beverly Hills). Are some people seriously suggesting that is you are half way, say at Dicks, you should either so to SM or Sunset to cross? With people zipping downhill at 40 mph or more, this is a really dangerous area. Unfortunately, Doheny is the border between two cities, making any changes… Read more »

Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYs
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Wehoan Fed Up with the NIMBYs

It’s time for West Hollywood to act like a real city and get rid of these mid-block cross walks. They are for sleepy suburbs, not dense urban areas.