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41 Collisions Involving Pedestrians in Weho So Far This Year

A report by a national advocacy group prompts a closer look at pedestrian safety statistics in West Hollywood.

West Hollywood, recently declared to be the  in California, saw 41 pedestrian collisions in the first half of this year, a traffic supervisor with the  told Patch.

Of the collisions, which were all non-fatal, 17 involved bicyclists, said Sgt. Michael Caprioli. Caprioli also said there have been at least six pedestrian deaths in West Hollywood since 2001.

The statistics follow the release of a report from national advocacy group Transportation for America, which mapped out the pedestrian deaths that occurred in the U.S. from 2000 to 2009. More than 47,000 pedestrian deaths were recorded across the U.S., with 2,079 recorded in Los Angeles County, according to the group.

The group ranked the Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area 27th on its list of the 52 most-dangerous areas for pedestrians nationally. 

The map, which can be viewed here, lists two pedestrian deaths in West Hollywood during that time: 

  • A 23-year-old man was killed Aug. 2, 2007, at Fountain Avenue and Kings Road.
  • A 79-year-old woman was killed March 14, 2005, at Beverly Boulevard and Clark Drive.

The report cites numerous challenges in compiling data. "Spotty" availability of data in metro areas was enhanced by limitations on census bureau reports, such as small sample sizes.

Reliable information on how people travel is also lacking, the report states. 

The Transportation for America map does not include three fatalities that occurred in West Hollywood from 2001 to 2004. Fatal collisions took place in 2001 at Sunset Boulevard and Core Avenue; in 2002 at Santa Monica Boulevard and Edinburgh Avenue; and in 2004, at Fairfax and Romaine, Caprioli said.

Also not included is West Hollywood's most recent fatal collision. A in a hit-and-run in November.

Twelve percent of all traffic accidents involve pedestrians, according to the Transportation for America report. Poorly designed roads create the crux of the problem, the report goes on to suggest.

Awareness on the part of the pedestrian is also crucial in preventing injuries and deaths, Caprioli said.

"Bicyclists and pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings," he said.  

The recommendations in the Transportation for America report include expanded sidewalks and bike lanes, and fewer streets designed with car traffic rather than foot traffic in mind. The National Safety Council estimates the comprehensive cost of each pedestrian death at $4.3 million. 

The most dangerous metro region in the nation, according to the report, is the Orlando-Kissimmee area in Florida. 

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Wesley McDowell August 11, 2011 at 03:10 PM
Only 41? Wow, we are lucky! When will the "creative city" figure out a way to have safe crosswalks? Pasadena, Glendale, LA and others have. Since the accident on Sunset a few years ago the attitude has been doing nothing is better than doing something. I disagree. DO SOMETHING! The Santa Monica crosswalks are the worst. It's often very difficult to see pedestrians. And while it's true that pedestrians have the right of way, so many just walk out into the street when there is a lot of traffic and if they are entitled to do so. I wait until there is a break in the traffic to go as I don't really want to hinder already heavy traffic. I guess that's just me being considerate. Oh, I digress! Lighted crosswalks could be installed which would vastly increase the safety of both pedestrians and vehicles. The crosswalk at the Chinese Theatre is a good example of what should be done at the Starbucks/24 Hour Fitness crosswalk. It could be timed to operate with timed traffic signals, something the city has considered. Come on weho, be a leader on this for a change!
Todd Bianco August 11, 2011 at 05:22 PM
I think that lighted sidewalks, a widely-used safety measure, would be a good idea. There are several busy intersections and crossing areas (the three between La Cienega and San Vincente come to mind as well as the one to and from Whole Foods, just east of Fairfax) that could easily adopt this technology. Now I'll get on my soap box and complain about distracted drivers AND pedestrians. People are looking at their emails and text messages, NOT paying attention to the road stop lights or crosswalks. I see near accidents all the time because of this. And people just walk across the street, against a red light or at the end of the green as if somehow all traffic should immediately stop. How about waiting for the new green light or crossing when the cars have gone by? We need some personal responsibility and common sense to come into play here.
me August 12, 2011 at 04:27 AM
at least "most" crosswalks have traffic lights, but it was INSANE of the city to install 3 crosswalks on santa monica blvd (at hayworth, near koo koo roo, and near 24 hour fitness) and at least 2 on sunset blvd, one on crescent hts at norton ave and one on melrose ave near urth cafe.....someone WILL die and then the city "may" decide to do something then....i hope that persons family sues the pants off of the city and i will be the first to testify that they had more than fair warning of the problems at these crossings and did N-O-T-H-I-N-G.....whatever happened to "risk management'????.....it would be cheaper to install lights than pay-out for potential lawsuits.....they are not well lit at night and are very dark, especially to older drivers.....i totally agree that they need to have the blinking lights on the street like glendale has.....it doesnt make every car stop at the crosswalk like a traffic signal does (thus not slowing down traffic), but it makes you aware of someone trying to cross.....with all of this said, yes, people shouldn't think that a crosswalk has some magical force that protects them from being hit, thus shouldn't walk blindly into the street without making sure the vehicles stop
Brian August 20, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Those crosswalks without lights between La Cienega and Doheny are deathtraps. It is VERY difficult to see someone at night, even if they are crossing legally.
Jack Wilson August 20, 2011 at 09:20 PM
As a pedestrian, I also have be be watching for skateboarders, cyclists, and even powered scooters! Not to mention the rolling right turn on red!

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