Pedestrian safety in Boyle Heights

img_34281With pedestrian traffic accidents increasing in Boyle Heights, the Union de Vecinos wants to make sure that the streets are safe for everyone. Community members staged a protest on Cesar Chavez Ave. and Forest holding up signs and chanting in rhythm for safer streets for pedestrians in Boyle Heights around 6 p.m. today. Elizabeth Blaney is one of those community members who want the cities Department of transportation to place traffic signals in two high traffic areas, Wabash and Fickett and on the corner where they were protesting. Some of the residents, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that they’re tired of having to worry if they’re kids will get home safely from school because drivers don’t adhere to the residential speed limit, which is 35 mph.

img_3420Their concerns for safer streets comes from the fact that residents have witnessed pedestrians being hit and run over by cars driving recklessly down the streets. There have been numerous accidents down Chavez recently and over the last couple of years as traffic in the historic neighborhood has increased. The union decided to take their message to the streets after getting nowhere with the city’s department of transportation. Numerous calls to their offices have been ignored and disregarded according to Blaney. Even though they understand that there is a long process when requesting something as expensive as a traffic light, the union wants to put pressure on the department of transportation to heed their calls and do something about the accidents.

img_3429 As the demonstration continued and gained momentum from drivers honking in support, union members, in the heat of the moment walked in the middle of the road, halting traffic for a few minutes until police officers warned residents that if they don’t clear the streets, citations will be given. They complied with the officers and continued to chant and hold up their signs proudly. In the past, the union helped get a traffic signal on Chavez and Fickett after residents got a petition going and with the help of 14th District council member Jose Huizar, who is supporting the union in their current crusade, it made the streets a little safer. The union also has plans to get the city to install speed bumps in more residential areas to increase safety. The union is going to be holding another demonstration Tuesday March 17 at 1 p.m. at Wabash and Fickett. If you would like to help out the union and their crusade for safer streets by helping them get in contact with someone in the city or to raise some more hell, you can contact them at 346 S. Gless St., Los Angeles, CA 90033     (323)908-3454

~ This is El Random Hero reporting live from Boyle Heights. “Print the news and raise hell.” ~ Jim Bellows





9 thoughts on “Pedestrian safety in Boyle Heights

  1. Great post ERH!

    Nothing like getting in the streets to bring attention to your plight, especially when it’s about trying to slow down the streets!

  2. why didn’t you call me!

    I know exactly what they are talking about. Cars speed crazy like in BH. I used to freak out on cars flying by parks, kids are playing near parks!!!! Seen lots of cars zoom around ice cream trucks too. That is crazy.

  3. i sympathize with the people. and i dont want to come off like the critic here, but that intersection does not seem like it has a cross walk. were the people hit maybe illegally jaywalking? just a thought.
    There is a cross walk on mott and on evergreen on either side of that intersection.
    I know everyone does it, you want to cross the street to get to get to the other side, but dont want to walk 100 feet down to the intersection. but rather play Frogger in the middle of the street. then we complain when a car drives by us too fast.
    but that’s just a random thought.

  4. rob,

    If people constantly cross an intersection as pedestrians and no facility exists to make it safer crossing the street – whose fault is it when those pedestrians get maimed or killed?

    We live in a city for various reasons, most of which have nothing to do with being able to drive everywhere. Yet, our city plans and builds in the largest public landholding (the road way) as if nothing better can take place except for car driving.

    In the City’s General Plan, the streets are classified based on little else but how many cars, daily, drive on a street.

    That is a sick, and inhumane, method of using the public right of way in a dense urban setting.

    I wish I could have been in the phone tree that set this protest in motion, because I would have called all of my neighbors and friends and blogged about it too.

    Many wonderful sections of the Eastside are ruined by car-centric roadway design. We need to talk about removing travel lanes, widening sidewalks, giving buses cut-ins to deliver passengers, and protected on-street bike lanes (copenhagen style) to get people to work and school.

    The 3-mile 710 resurfacing is going to cost $70 million – we could re-build the entire Eastside’s sidewalk and bike facilities for that much.

  5. good to see someone is trying to do something about this. there are too many major intersections that don’t even have lights much less crosswalks. None of the freeway exits have lights at all. it just creates a mess. The indiana exit from the 60 is right next to the yellow line station and it is a mess. there is nothing there at all. even a stop sign would help.

    keep up the good work.

  6. Were is our councilmen Huizar? were is all the neighborhood organizations such as BHNC, BHR HOA, BHSA, BHNO that promote quality of life, this is important, wake up and help this people.

    who can we contact to help?

    We need a community meeting with our Councilmen Huizar to answer all this that have been falling through the cracks. I thought, Huizar was concern for the children, so why is that, that a smart light on 4th street and Fikett has not been put up because no money. tentative meeting with Huizar, April 1, 2009 at El Sereno Office. Councilmen Huizar can you confirm the date time and location.

    Huizar should cortail his traveling and budget and start fixing the street and putting up street signals were needed.

    Mayor, Villaraigosa, you cannot syncronize the signal lights untill we have them.

  7. This issue of traffic issues is not new in Boyle Heights, and is not going to get better after the Gold line starts on first street.

    Mayor Villaraigosa and Huizar think that parking for new development is luxiry we should not have in Boyle Heigths, if this is correct, why are we missing Gold LIne stops from Soto east bound to Indiana.

    Huizar, were is our traffic studies, did they go back in the closet or the waste basket, oh maybe that was the plan for 2030.

  8. Invitation to: Mayor A. Villaraigosa, Councilmen Huizar, and all the news, specially the LA times, street repair departments.

    Please bring your white hats and suits and start pushing those street machines to draw the white line accross, so we can have cross walks until you can install signal lights.

    We promise to have many cameras, and the news, good PR

  9. Drivers will always drive the speed it feels comfortable to drive on a street, not the speed limit. Want drivers to slow down?

    1. Make the street narrower.
    2. Build a median between the east and west bound lanes.
    3. Plant more trees, closer to the sides of the street.

    These measures have the psychological effect of slowing drivers down. It works better than speed cameras, speed limit signs, and targeted enforcement.

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