Los Angeles Pedestrians Look Forward to Relaxed Jaywalking Law
The newly passed law will make it easier to move on sidewalks, and pedestrians will be able to cross at all directions, unless they are in a crosswalk or lane.
The law, which was approved unanimously by the City Council in July, will also create new pedestrian safety features, such as traffic calming markings, a pedestrian countdown display (a way for drivers to anticipate pedestrians on the road), and protected bike lanes.
In an email to Streetsblog, a spokesperson for the City’s Department of Transportation said the new law comes with some requirements and exemptions, depending on the needs of the area where the new laws are rolled out.
For instance, the law allows foot and bike traffic in bike lanes, but pedestrians will not be able to cross at certain intersections. And, since the LA Streetsblog article comes from a city spokesperson, Streetsblog is not yet seeing a list of the exemptions or what they might include.
For example, what’s the difference between a crosswalk and a protected bike lane? This could become an issue when it comes to bike lanes. For instance, on the westside of Figueroa Boulevard, from Sepulveda to Grand Avenue, the sidewalk is not protected by bike lane markings, which could make it dangerous for bicyclists to cross to the eastbound lanes after dark.
At the moment, a pedestrian countdown display is a required feature in protected bike lanes. That means that the lanes would have a lighted crosswalk in front that allows pedestrians to cross at regular intersections, such as Crenshaw Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard.
On the other hand, the pedestrian countdown display is optional in off-road bike lanes, since the lanes usually don’t have a crosswalk, for obvious reasons. Here’s a comparison of an off-road protected bike lane on Wilshire Boulevard and a pedestrian countdown display at a crosswalk.
The “new” law is actually quite similar to the one passed back in 2009. In fact, if you read through the details of the new law, you’ll realize that it’s almost identical to the old law from 2009 – with the only major change being that it will be much easier to create new off-road bike lanes