One of the dumbest, most "Los Angeles" things about Los Angeles is the jaywalking tickets. In an era when the city is struggling (often successfully) to become more friendly to non-drivers, the LAPD continues to criminalize walking—they even began specifically cracking down on it a couple years ago in Downtown, right when the long-dormant neighborhood is coming to life with walkers and bikers on its streets, with tickets ranging from $190 to $250. The worst part is they don't just target jaywalking as we all think of it (crossing somewhere besides a crosswalk or against the light); they like to hand out tickets to people crossing at crosswalks, walking with the light, but after the countdown clock (or flashing hand) has begun. Now a couple LA City Councilmembers are finally sort of calling bullshit on that practice.
Streetsblog LA reports that Councilmembers Mike Bonin (who reps the Westside) has introduced a motion that asks the LAPD to account for itself with a report on why they issue tickets to people crossing during the countdown clock and whether it actually makes anyone safer. (The LAPD continues to insist that jaywalking tickets are for pedestrians' own safety—they have to pay to learn to stay out of the way of cars that might hit and kill them.)
Bonin writes in the motion that the law that allows the countdown clock tickets "is one of many existing state laws that has not kept pace with the changing utilization of our public streets, the increased use of our public sidewalks, and more modern technologies such as the flashing red countdown signal."
Meanwhile, Downtown Councilmember Jose Huizar, who seconded Bonin's motion, has introduced a separate motion that would give walkers the signal to go before turning cars.
· Applause for Bonin-Huizar L.A. Council Motion to Rein in LAPD Ped Stings [SBLA]
· The LAPD's $250 Jaywalking Tickets Are Total Bullshit [Curbed LA]
· LAPD Just Fining Walkers So They'll Stop Getting Hit By Cars [Curbed LA]
· Four Plans to Make All of DTLA Friendlier for Bikes, Pedestrians, and Cars [Curbed LA]