It's true: Mayor Garcetti wants new diagonal crosswalks on the streets of L.A., proposing new "pedestrian scrambles" at Seventh and Flower in DTLA, Hollywood and Highland, and Aliso and Alameda near Union Station, the L.A. Times reports. The proposal, which would need City Council's approval, is just the latest effort in decades to install more of these types of crosswalks, which alternately close off intersections to drivers, allowing walkers to move in any direction, and the opposite, allowing cars to turn without the risk of hitting pedestrians.
The complaint over these things, sometimes called "Barnes dances" after a Denver-based proponent of the crossings, is that is slows up vehicular traffic, but can also annoy pedestrians who aren't allowed to move in any direction while cars zoom by. Either way, studies have shown they cut down on people getting hit by cars (which happens way too often in SoCal).
Diagonal crosswalks already operate in Pasadena and Beverly Hills (!), and former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa installed them in Venice, Westwood, Woodland Hills, and the Fashion District, though all four of the Fashion District's crosswalks were removed after walkers got confused and drivers were backed-up. USC engineering professor James E. Moore II says they may not make things quicker, but the crosswalks at least show a deference for the growing pedestrian culture. –Neal Broverman
· Diagonal walkways put drivers, pedestrians at different cross purposes [LA Times]
· Crosswalks archives [Curbed LA]