As first reported in February, and followed-up by an LAPD rebuttal, the police are staking out the corner of Vermont and Wilshire ticketing pedestrians who enter the street when the hand starts flashing. The ticketing continues and the debate rages, but in the end you're going to get a ticket if you cross on the flashing red. Please tell your friends.
"So over the past few weeks, LAPD officers continue to ticket unsuspecting pedestrians crossing the street from the subway station to the buses on Vermont Ave. (see photos, taken on 6/30 and 7/1) One day last week, a man crossed the street-- entering the crosswalk after the hand had begun flashing, but safely crossed before the light changed-- and hopped onto a bus. The cop followed him onto the bus and made him get off; the bus driver then pleaded with the cop to let him go! The officer didn't relent, and proceeded to ticket the poor guy.
"The following day, I said hi to the cop, and asked if I could make a suggestion. I politely said, "Why not just stop people from crossing, rather than wait until they've already crossed to ticket them? Wouldn't that be safer?" He snarled and waved his book of tickets at me: "That won't do any good! We can't babysit these people all day long everyday! The only way to make 'em learn is to ticket them! That way, they won't do it when we're not around..."
I replied that cops frequently warn people rather than ticket them outright. I also suggested that, since there is a "traffic officer" (a full-on old-school traffic monitor with white gloves and all!) at the corner of Wilshire and Vermont almost everyday, that s/he could politely ask people not to cross after the hand has begun flashing (literally, she usually just stands there doing nothing). Again, they said that they have to teach people a lesson so that they won't break the law. I thanked them for letting me make a suggestion, then crossed the street when the 'walk' sign was on. In the middle of the crosswalk, a car stopped right in the middle of it. I turned around and yelled at the cop, "Why don't you come ticket this person? They're breaking the law too!" He sarcastically gestured his ticket book like, "Here come take this and ticket them if you want!"
I sure am glad Metro has great big signs for subway entrances at their "pedestrian oriented" sites. Otherwise, cops would have no place to hide as they harass ordinary harmless people on their way to work.
How much are these tickets they're giving left and right? Why is LAPD harassing pedestrians when cars are constantly making dangerous illegal turns at the same intersection? Do [Councilmen] Tom Labonge and Herb Wesson know that their hardworking consituents are being harassed for scurrying to work? Does Metro care that its 'transit oriented developments' are havens for cops stalking pedestrians and transit riders? Or I am just living in the wrong city for wanting non-militarized public spaces??"
· LAPD Explains Wilshire/Vermont Pedestrian Ticketing [Curbed LA]
· Revealed: Police Stakeout At Wilshire/Vermont Crosswalk [Curbed LA]
· Report: Koreatown PoPo Cracking Down on Pedestrians [Curbed LA]