A pedestrian, apparently jaywalking, was hit by a car on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood early this morning.
According to Sgt. Dave Valentine at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, the accident occurred around 2 a.m. near the intersection of Santa Monica with Larrabee Street, where there is no pedestrian crosswalk.
“The guy was seen by witnesses stumbling into the street when he got hit,” Valentine said. “Minor injuries only.” Valentine said the man was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for treatment.
Grant Smith, a DJ, issued an early report of the accident with a post on his Facebook page.
“So walking home from playing at the Mother Lode, I just saw some guy get hit in the street crossing Santa Monica Blvd.,” Smith wrote. “He was not crossing at one of the crosswalks, he was crossing at Larrabee and across from the police station, where there is no crosswalk. The car hit him, I could see him flip over in the air, and he landed with a big “crack” sound, like he landed on his head and his skull had been broken. Really sad. Neither drivers nor pedestrian seem to have any understanding what kind of force and power a moving 2000 lbs. vehicle actually has. It is truly sad. We must find a solution.”
This morning’s accident is the latest of several that have stirred local residents, including a driver hitting and injuring a pedestrian in a crosswalk at Santa Monica Boulevard at Westmount in June and the death last weekend of Clinton Bounds, a man well-known in the gay nightlife community, who was struck by a car while crossing Santa Monica Boulevard at night near a crosswalk at Palm. Bounds apparently was not in the crosswalk when he was hit.
The June incident led to the creation of Cross Safe WeHo, a group advocating that West Hollywood do more to improve pedestrian safety. After the death of Bounds, local residents staged a demonstration in the crosswalk at Santa Monica at Palm, stopping traffic as they walked back and forth carrying signs saying “No More Deaths.”
The West Hollywood City Council in February authorized the city to seek bids for the installation of flashing lights at Santa Monica Boulevard crosswalks at Palm and Hancock avenues and at a San Vicente Boulevard crosswalk in front of the West Hollywood Library. Those flashing lights would join others already installed at three other locations: on Santa Monica Boulevard at Westmount Drive and at Orange Grove Avenue and on Crescent Heights Boulevard at Norton Avenue.
Larry Block, a candidate in the 2015 City Council race and one of the most outspoken advocates for more crosswalk safety efforts, has criticized the city for not yet seeking bids for the flashing lights. Residents also have appeared before the city’s Public Safety and Transportation commissions to complain about their perceived inaction on the issue.
Citizen complaints at a recent Public Safety Commission meeting led to two commissioners, Marcy Norton and Ruth Williams, complaining that they had been unable to get the Transportatin Commission, under whose jurisdiction the issue falls, to deal with the matter.
While the death of Clinton Bounds sparked a public demonstration and an unprecedented number of comments on WEHOville, to date the City of West Hollywood has remained silent on the matter. However insiders say City Hall is trying to arrange a joint meeting of the Transportation and Public Safety commissions to address the issue. And they say the request for bids for flashing lights hasn’t been issued because city staff members are conducting research to see if they can identify more effective measures.