Los Angeles is finally acknowledging that people like to walk around in Downtown. New walk signs at some crosswalks on Broadway let pedestrians step off the curb three seconds before cars, making them more visible to drivers who are waiting to turn. The signal change is a pilot program, part of the "dress rehearsal" for the pedestrian-friendly makeover that's underway on Broadway right now, says Streetsblog; that plan also includes a reduction in car lanes (down to three); new tables, chairs, and planters; and wider sidewalks.
"At Broadway and 4th/3rd Streets, we are piloting a 'pedestrian priority phase' signalized intersection that provides a three-second head start for people walking/bicycling/skateboarding across the street ... Vehicles wait those extra seconds, making people more visible to drivers as they step off the curb," an LADOT rep says. (Maybe it will cut down on those nasty jaywalking tickets too.) Three seconds is a very short amount of time, but the head-start is "a proven way of both increasing the safety of the street crossing and of sending a message that streets are for people, not just people in cars," says Streetsblog.
Councilmember Jose Huizar says he hopes the head-start-style crossings can eventually spread citywide.
· LADOT Pilots "Pedestrian First" Timing on Broadway [SBLA]
· Take a Look at Broadway's New Pedestrian-Friendly Makeover [Curbed LA]
· The LAPD's $250 Jaywalking Tickets Are Total Bullshit [Curbed LA]