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.
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.