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LA's 4 Most Dangerous Pedestrian Areas and the New Advocacy Group That's Tackling Them

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Does it feel like there's an un-car revolution brewing in LA or what? With another best-day-ever CicLAvia this past weekend, the big bike sharing program announcement, and LADOT's planned hiring of two pedestrian-focused positions, it seems like the general walking/biking/transit enthusiasm that's been swelling over the past year is starting to catch its stride. The latest news is the formation of an official pedestrian advocacy group--Los Angeles Walks was actually founded by Deborah Murphy back in 1998, but got all official last fall when it (and its expanded governing committee) was placed "under the fiscal umbrella" of the LA County Bicycle Coalition. The group's goal is to "promote awareness of walking in LA, advocate and educate on behalf of everyone who walks in LA, celebrate our communities on foot, grow the pedestrian advocacy movement in LA, and raise funds to develop a full-time professional staff to improve the pedestrian experience."

One of Los Angeles Walks's first big pushes will be for a citywide Safe Routes to Transit Program to make conditions safer for pedestrians "around dangerous and high-use transit stops." To get started, committee member Michelle Craven, a master's candidate in Urban and Regional Planning at UCLA, crunched the data to figure out the most dangerous transit stops in Los Angeles (for the wonks in the crowd: "I used GIS to map all transit stops and the locations of all pedestrian crashes in the City of LA. I pulled the transit stop information from Metro's Developer website, and I used the SWITRS crash data from 2009?After I plotted the stops and crashes, I calculated the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities that occurred within one-quarter mile of each stop, then used these totals to rank the stops."). She found that the 60 or so most dangerous stops pretty much all fell in four areas of the city:

-- MacArthur Park: mostly east of the park, from Sixth to Eleventh Streets and from Alvarado St. to Union Ave.

-- Hollywood: between Hollywood and Sunset Blvds. and Highland and Argyle Aves.

-- Florence: from Florence Ave. to Seventy-Sixth Street, east of the 110.

-- Pico-Union: around Pico and Vermont Ave.

Next up, LA Walks will visit the areas to look for potential improvements and check out more data on what exactly is causing all these accidents.

Meanwhile, the group is having a karaoke fundraiser this weekend at Atwater Crossing (where yes, you can expect to hear Missing Persons). The singings starts at 7 pm, there'll be beer and wine on sale, and money raised will go toward advocacy efforts.
· Los Angeles Walks [Official Site]