City Struggles to Make Streets Safer for Pedestrians
Glendale pedestrian safety initiatives meet with mixed reviews from locals.
Pedestrian safety is a serious issue in many LA communities, including in Glendale. After five fatal pedestrian accidents last year, Glendale officials are trying all kinds of strategies to improve pedestrian safety in their city. Some of these strategies fall into the tried and true category, while others are less conventional—and perhaps less appealing to the public.
New Initiative Falls Flat
In January, Glendale officials unveiled one part of their plan: walking flags. The bright orange flags were placed in tubes bolted to existing poles on either side of the street at two unmarked intersections. An instructional placard advised pedestrians that they could take a flag, wave it high while crossing the street, and then leave it in the tube on the opposite side of the street.
The idea was that the flags would help improve the visibility of pedestrians so that drivers would be more aware of their presence. However, not all residents seem on board with the initiative. While some residents did applaud it, others were concerned the flags would be stolen or vandalized. And younger residents admitted that although they believed the flags could make the intersections safer, they simply would not use them.
Funds Earmarked for More Conventional Improvements
In February, the City Council earmarked over $100,000 for more conventional pedestrian safety initiatives including crossing guards, police bicycle patrols, and high-visibility crosswalks. The crossing guards will be placed at three intersections near schools, while the bicycle patrols will likely focus on the downtown area and other areas popular with pedestrians like parks and libraries. As an added bonus, officials hope increased police bicycle presence will help local drivers learn to share the road with cyclists and reduce bicycle accidents.
The high-visibility crosswalks will be installed at the top six worst intersections for pedestrian accidents. This initiative seems to hold much more promise than the walking flags, because high-visibility crosswalks serve as a constant cue to look out for pedestrians at a given intersection, even when the crosswalk is empty. A walking flag on the other hand is not always present and therefore does not help improve safety long-term.
Have You Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you have been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident due to someone’s reckless or negligent driving, you may be entitled to compensation. Please be sure to contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney such as Fernando D. Vargas as quickly as possible after your accident.