Los Angeles Pedestrians Look Forward to Relaxed Jaywalking Law
Pedestrians and drivers will see less red lights, fewer cyclists on sidewalks and reduced speed limits when the new law goes into effect on Jan. 1, state officials announced on Sept. 27.
The ordinance, which was signed into law last month, makes the streets a priority for street and sidewalk improvements. And the state, starting in October, will require that street and sidewalk maintenance programs be submitted to the public before construction begins. A similar program will begin in January.
But Los Angeles’ new law is the broadest of any of the cities and counties that have already made streets safer for pedestrians.
What’s different about L.A. is the amount of money the city will spend to implement the new law. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation will install new sidewalks and resurface curb ramps and medians. The city will also upgrade its street and sidewalk signs to reflect the new law.
“This is a big step forward,” said Jeff Busson, deputy director of LADOT’s Traffic Engineering Division. “We’re actually starting at ground zero for pedestrian safety. We’re putting the first asphalt pavement on the street as the baseline.”
Busson said the goal, to get all the streets out of the bottom 15 percent of those tested, is more than 50 percent better than what is in place now.
The goal is much higher than in Boston and Salt Lake City. Those smaller cities have not required street signs to accurately reflect their new laws, Busson said. But he expects L.A.’s results to be similar to those of other cities, with improved sidewalks and medians but still a long way from perfect for pedestrians.
But L.A. will end up with a mix of medians, and if drivers don’t like what they can see, they have the option to call 311, which will send someone over to fix it.
A Los Angeles City Council committee voted 11-