City Hall Updates WeHo Council on Crosswalk Safety Progress

West Hollywood is considering embedding lights in the street to alert drivers to pedestrian crosswalks and has decided to increase the intensity of lighting at five crosswalks along Santa Monica Boulevard.

Pedestrian crosswalk warning sign on Santa Monica Boulevard at Ramage
Pedestrian crosswalk warning sign on Santa Monica Boulevard

A report to the city council from the city’s Community Development, Public Works and Public Safety departments and communications division outlines efforts underway to improve pedestrian safety since the August 2014 death of Clinton Bounds prompted demands from residents for the city to act. Bounds was struck by a car and killed while crossing Santa Monica Boulevard at night. While early indications were that he was hit in the crosswalk at Hancock Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, later indications were that he was jaywalking while intoxicated.

Major changes that have been instituted or are planned include:

— On Santa Monica Boulevard between Orange Grove Avenue and Ogden Drive the city is removing crosswalks at Orange Grove Avenue and Ogden Drive and will install a new pedestrian-activated, mid-block crosswalk with a stop signal. Work is anticipated to begin this summer.

— On Santa Monica Boulevard between San Vicente and La Cienega boulevards, the city will install traffic signals at crosswalks at Palm Avenue, Hancock Avenue, Westmount Drive and West Knoll Drive. In addition to the new signals, the traffic medians on Santa Monica Boulevard will be altered to allow cars access at Westmount Drive and West Knoll Drive. These changes are currently being designed and plans will be presented to the city council on July 18.

— On San Vicente Boulevard, rapid-flashing lights will be installed at the crosswalk between the Pacific Design Center and West Hollywood Library Crossing to improve its visibility. The installation will be coordinated with the removal of similar flashing lights on Santa Monica Boulevard at Orange Grove Avenue later this year. That light will be used on San Vicente.

— At the intersection of Fountain and Hayworth avenues, the city will install rapid-flashing lights to make the crosswalk more visible. The light that is installed will be the one removed from the Santa Monica Boulevard/Westmount Drive crosswalk.

— Early next month the city will install in-road warning lights on San Vicente Boulevard and Harratt Street and improve pedestrian warning signs. The city will conduct a three-month test of in-road lights. If they are effective, it may expand the tests to other locations.

— The city has finished a study of lighting at its crosswalks and will install lights 50% brighter than national standards at the crosswalks at five locations on Santa Monica Boulevard. That installation will be done after the city completes its negotiation with SoCal Edison to buy streetlights in West Hollywood owned by the utility.

The city also has finished its citywide crosswalk study and will incorporate its recommendations into the city’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Update, anticipated to be completed by end of this year.

The report calls out interim measures, implemented because of the time required to make permanent changes. Those measures include trailer-mounted lighted signs and the installation of in-street pedestrian crosswalk signs or “paddles” at ten crosswalks without traffic signals along Santa Monica Boulevard.

Since the installation of those signs and the launch of a public information campaign about crosswalk safety, pedestrian-related collisions at the ten crosswalks have decreased from eight in 2014 to zero in 2015, the report says.

The report also notes that the Sheriff’s Department has conducted regular crosswalk enforcement operations. The last one, on June 8 at six locations, resulted in 102 citations. Seventy five percent were issued to motorists for failing to yield to pedestrians, 14% were for cellphone/texting violations and the remaining 12% or miscellaneous violations (no insurance, no driver license, etc.).

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fine7760
4 years ago

Everything is not perfect at controlled intersections. Crossing Santa Monica Bl. at La Cienega can be a real challenge. While I’m walking southbound crossing Santa Monica I can barely get passed the bike lane before the “Don’t Walk” sign starts flashing. Going northbound I am honked at by the southbound traffic trying to make a right turn. Needless to say, I will not stop in the middle of the street and wait for the next light.

Randy
Randy
4 years ago

Alison, please try to show some compassion. Not every one of these incidents involved a “drunk pedestrian stepping out into the street.” Even if some did, you were not there to know what happened, exactly. This most certainly is NOT a waste of time or resources. Its an attempt to get EVERYONE to pay better attention, which includes drivers and pedestrians both. And it seems to be working. I think saving lives and preventing injury is worth some extra stops for drivers, or the absence of a few metered spaces.

Ever Vigilant
Ever Vigilant
4 years ago

WELCOME TO WEST HOLLYWOOD
25 MPH THROUGHOUT
WE VALUE SAFETY!

This is common in many towns on the east coast. Quick transitions from 55mph to 35mph to 25mph provide new revenue streams but safe conditions in municipal districts and residential neighborhoods.

Christopher Roth
4 years ago

I think the signs in the middle o the crosswalks have been effective. Because of their unexpectedness, they force you to slow down (which was not the case before). In addition, I have not read about any major crosswalk accidents since they have been used. (and no deaths). I know they are not the permanent solution, but they have done the job that was needed in the interim. Well done WEHO.

Ron Davis
Ron Davis
4 years ago

Traffic will actually improve with timed lights as opposed to allowing pedestrians to enter the crosswalk and halt traffic at any moment they chooae and the 8 people hit and killed in those crosswalks will have not died in vane. Bitch all you want…it was done as a result of TWENTY TWO PEOPLE HIT and eight killed (fact). F*#+ ur “road rage” analogy or inconvenience analogy. This is about public safety. Extensive studies were done…this took years and a protest from fed up residents who kept the city accountable and went to the council meetings and got these deadly cross… Read more »

Tom
Tom
4 years ago

Ignorance is bliss a simple 25 MPH speed zone to slow traffic down from
La cienega west would have been efficient and smarter first. With sped trap in both directions much cheaper. Speeding is the culprit Santa Monica Blvd is a race zone like everywhere without a 25 zone. So they’ll zoom to each light creating more road rage.
City of Weho loves to spend and waste their revenue they are too bored.

mike dunn
4 years ago

The signs in the road are a traffic hazard and in many cases distract drivers from seeing pedestrians because their focus is to avoid hitting those signs. It would be interesting to find out how much the city has spent erecting and then constantly fixing the knocked down signs. That money could have been spent on flashing lights which are far more effective and do not creat a traffic hazard.

fr3
fr3
4 years ago

Yes, yes , yes!!! Do this. It’s very dangerous to use cross walk in its current form. So many distracted drivers. Lights are great!!!

Zam Loomstein
4 years ago

As a disabled ‘pedestrian’, I’ve been honked at (while crossing LEGALLY), had many near misses, and been hit by cars in WeHo, at least 6 times over the past 7 years. Fortunately, my mobility device has protected me to some degree, but I’ve still sustained injuries. I cannot say enough that the peoblem has gotten much worse over the years. The first (and worst) incident was 7 years ago. I had another 2 years later and the others have occurred consistantly since. For most of that time, I wasn’t driving – medical reasons. To my benefit, advancing technologies have once… Read more »

Ron Davis
Ron Davis
4 years ago

Curious why wehoville always points out that Clint may have not been in the crosswalk but doesn’t mention the 22 other people hit last year in these crosswalks. No mention at all of the statistics that made me and others raise hell and bring out the media. Clint was the last straw but MANY, too many, preceded him.

Alison
Alison
4 years ago

Those paddles in the street are a major distraction to drivers. Many I’ve seen have been knocked down. So, to summarize, from La Cienega to San Vicente, it will be a stoplight on every block and some mid-blocks. Talk about traffic clusterfucks! Oh, and btw, those trailer signs telling us that a crosswalk is near are always parked in a metered parking space, taking away that space for people to use. All of this comes because a drunk person coming out of one of the bars, who was jaywalking, got hit by a car and died. If people paid attention… Read more »

Ron davis
Ron davis
4 years ago
Reply to  Alison

Wow you couldn’t be more wrong and you clearly don’t know the history. 2012-14 22 people hit and 8 killed. That’s why we fought for these stop lights. And they will be times just like in any major city with busy traffic to maintain traffic flow. The crosswalks without stop lights actually cause more traffic (and injuries) as the pedestrian can enter whenever they like. Times stop lights actually will assist with traffic and injuries. This was not the result of one death my dear. Far too many deaths and injuries preceded. Also I’m sorry that the interim measures (paddles… Read more »