Tony Pierce suspects that this sort of thing happens all across the country, but I’m really not sure it does. I think that most of the time, crosswalks like this either have (a) a lot less traffic or (b) pedestrian lights. In fact, when I first saw the video I was outraged because I thought that the undercover cop was ignoring the crosswalk lights as part of a ticket-making machine. But then when they said (or I observed, I can’t remember which happened first) that there were no lights it became something of a muddier issue. If they’re not going to put lights up there because it’s not a good and proper intersection, I suppose they’re doing what needs to be done. Pedestrians do have the right of way and it’s not an unimportant rule for people to abide by. I have some sympathy for that car that was passing while the cop was behind that truck (the driver might could have seen him, but probably didn’t), but generally speaking the people that got tickets probably deserved them. It’s too much to ask pedestrians to wait for an opening when there likely is none.

Of course, I have to wonder how much of an imposition it is to scotch the sidewalk and ask pedestrians to walk to the nearest actual intersection. It’s hard to tell from the video where that might be. If it’s somewhere close, it really might be better to force pedestrians over rather than put them in harm’s way. Otherwise, they need to stick a light in there. There are lots of crosswalks without lights, of course, but by and large where I have seen them have been places where there’s not the regular flow of traffic.

One other thing worth noting is that as long as they are making money off of this current arrangement, that kind of provides a disincentive for them to actually rectify the situation, doesn’t it? What are a few pedestrian accidents compared to 60 tickets in a single day?

Category: Road

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2 Responses to Pedestrians Beware

  1. Transplanted Lawyer says:

    FWIW, I was co-counsel with an attorney whose office is very close to this intersection on a couple of cases. The intersection here is about midway between two traffic lights, which are maybe a quarter mile apart.

    It’s on Wilshire Boulevard, one of the busiest surface streets in the whole L.A. area, in an area with commercial (mainly office) space fronting Wilshire with mixed apartments and single-family residences to the south, and single family-residences to the north.

    It’s just to the east of the commercial area that includes Rodeo Drive, which is heavily-traveled by pedestrians many of them tourists just window-shopping and taking photographs of brand-name fashion boutiques, from which the city no doubt makes a great deal of money and therefore no doubt takes pains to keep well-patrolled.

    So — is it too much of an imposition to ask a pedestrian to walk one-eighth of a mile to cross the street, near but not right at a pedestrian tourist attraction? Personally, I think not, but then again, I fear traffic on Wilshire Boulevard, which has claimed the lives of many pedestrians.

  2. trumwill says:

    Thanks for the info. An eighth of a mile does not seem unreasonable to me when the public safety is at stake.

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