Last Updated On: 20 February 2024

Crossing with Confidence: How LA is Making Streets Safer for Pedestrians

Los Angeles is stepping up its game in the pedestrian safety arena, rolling out a series of savvy upgrades and legislative maneuvers aimed at making streets safer for those on foot and two wheels. Inspired by the urgent need to curb the unsettling rise in traffic-related incidents, Councilmember Nithya Raman, with backing from colleagues Bob Blumenfield and Eunisses Hernandez, has set the wheels in motion to revamp traffic signals across the city. This bold move is designed to enhance pedestrian visibility and ensure safer crossings, responding to a concerning uptick in pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries.

In a unanimous call to action, the Los Angeles City Council has greenlit a comprehensive review of signal phasing and timing, among other strategies, to bolster pedestrian safety. By tweaking street signal timings to favor shorter cycles where fitting, the initiative aims to put pedestrians first, ensuring they can cross streets more safely and efficiently. The Department of Transportation (LADOT) is now on deck to draft a policy and implementation plan that will bring these changes to life, along with fleshing out updated guidelines for Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPIs), scramble crosswalks, and “No Right Turn On Red” restrictions at intersections.

The push for pedestrian safety isn’t just a local endeavor. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) highlights the pivotal role of state and local agencies in safeguarding the transportation network for vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and bicyclists. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is actively collaborating with state departments and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to enhance non-motorized transportation infrastructure and promote safer, more connected streets. This collaborative effort underscores a nationwide commitment to crafting a more secure and inclusive urban mobility landscape.

Embracing these initiatives signals a comprehensive approach to enhancing pedestrian safety in Los Angeles, blending legislative efforts with infrastructure enhancements and federal support. By prioritizing pedestrian-friendly signal timings, crosswalk improvements, and adopting national safety guidelines, Los Angeles is paving the way toward significantly reducing traffic fatalities and injuries, ensuring that its streets are safe for everyone.

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