Most Dangerous Intersections For Pedestrians in Los Angeles

Despite recent efforts to make L.A. a safer place to walk, Los Angeles still has some really deadly intersections.
Some of them are disproportionately more hazardous to cross than others, according to a new analysis of traffic collisions by the L.A. Times. The report shows that nearly 25% of all traffic crashes involving a pedestrian occur at less than 1% of the city’s intersections. The map reveals 579 of the most problematic intersections across the city—and more than 800 across the county. Many of the most dangerous pedestrian crossings are located around Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles.

To create the report and map, the L.A. Times used crash data from 2002 to 2013 gathered by the California Highway Patrol. To identify the most dangerous intersections, they considered three factors: the overall number of pedestrian collisions, the percentage of collisions where pedestrians were involved, and the percentage that were fatal.

The map shows clusters of highly problematic areas—highlighted by a grey circle—where there are the highest concentrations of dangerous intersections. In these clusters, you’ll see particularly high rates of pedestrian collisions in places that have a lot of pedestrians. For example: in downtown Los Angeles, 659 people were hit and 11 killed at 48 intersections, and Hollywood there were 369 people hit and 8 deaths. The two most dangerous intersections are Slauson and Western avenues in South L.A., where 41 people were hit by cars over the 12 year period, and where Hollywood Blvd. intersects Highland Ave. where 38 pedestrians were hit by cars, and one was killed during the time span.

While it may seem somewhat predictable to say that more pedestrians are hit more often at busier intersections—which many of those on the map are—the L.A. Times report suggests that even within those busy areas certain factors make some intersections more dangerous than others. For instance, some intersections allow for cars to turn while pedestrians have the right of way, instead of requiring drivers to wait on a red light, while the width and traffic flow of other streets allow cars to move faster through certain intersections. These and other factors can increase the risk to pedestrians over other similarly busy intersections.

The report also points out that the city of Los Angeles has made some encouraging strides towards making L.A. a safer place to walk. By installing more high visibility crosswalks with wide, bright stripes and using traffic calming measures like broader curbs and fewer lanes to slow traffic, Los Angeles is working to reduce pedestrian collisions, but there’s clearly still a long way to go. While many of these efforts can be costly and drivers might not be excited about losing lanes to traffic calming, the resulting safety improvements are worth it to make the city safer for those walking. As Ryan Snyder, a transportation planner and UCLA professor, explains, “The common way to think about this is, we don’t want to do anything that compromises car movement. But is it more important to save yourself 10 seconds as you drive, or to save lives?”



A Right to Kill Oneself?

A recent attempt to allow terminally ill people to engage in physician assisted suicide (right to die) has stalled in the legislative process due to pressure from various religious groups. A change in policy seems to be evolving. The California Medical Association, which for years had opposed such legislation, has now changed its stance. This raises the question, “should those who are terminally ill have the right to end their pain and suffering?” Science now seems to be on board with this decision. The opposition is coming from the religious community.

If a person has been given the diagnosis that they have a terminal condition, should they have the ability to say “I have had enough pain, expense, etc.” and do not want to engage in this any longer?  Adequate safeguards can be built into legislation to ensure that people who are not competent to make their own decisions, should not be allowed to terminate their lives. However, if a person is competent, should they be allowed to forego the pain to themselves and their loved ones to end suffering more quickly? While everyone understands that God may be or is (depending on your view) the ultimate judge, can this process be amended to comport with the suffering of a person facing this heavy burden? Should we have a uniform standard throughout the country, or should we have legislative chaos with each state being allowed to set whatever standards they feel is appropriate.

Should the terminally ill be forced to move from one state to another to find a forum that is friendly to allow them to end their suffering? Will this lead to assisted suicide travel wherein terminally ill patients go from states without physician assisted suicide to states with assisted suicide in order to end their suffering? Is this fair to the person and loved ones affected?

The Constitution gives people the right “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, should it not extend to ending their lives as well?”

How Much Power Do We Give Government?

California has recently passed a very comprehensive pre-school vaccination policy. The key questions are, should they have? Is government in a better position to ascertain what a child needs as opposed to the parents of that child? If marriage and procreation have been found to be fundamental rights, should not the caring of your child also be a fundamental right? Does the government have the absolute right to bar your child from school if they are not vaccinated? Is there a link between vacations and autism? Is there a scientific controversy on this issue? Has the issue been settled?

In light of these questions, should not the parents of a child (who know it better than “big brother government”) lose the right to decide intimate health issues concerning that child?

Is raising a child a fundamental right entitled to the utmost in constitutional protection?  If not, why not?

If your religious beliefs do not condone vaccinations should government strip away your individual rights?

The right to practice one’s religion is also a fundamental right. In light of this, should not the raising of a child be entitled to the same protection?

Is there a clear link between vaccinations and the disease(s) they are designed to prevent?

Are the disease(s) capable of occurring whether or not the child is subject to mandated vaccinations?

How does that make you feel?