By the Numbers: WeHo Pedestrian Accidents Actually on Downward Trend

While a recent rash of pedestrian accidents has alarmed many West Hollywood residents, the actual number of accidents appears to be on a downward trend according to data from the city’s public safety director.

Pedestrian accidents in West Hollywood. Source: West Hollywood Public Safety Director
Pedestrian accidents in West Hollywood. Source: West Hollywood Public Safety Director.

Kristin Cook reports that there were 28 pedestrian accidents in West Hollywood in 2012 and 22 in 2013. But to date this year there have been 16, a little more than one accident every two weeks. If pedestrian accidents were to continue at that rate through the end of the year, the total would be about 24. There were 17 pedestrian accidents in 2011.

A proposal that will go before the City Council on Monday from Mayor John D’Amico and Councilmember John Heilman is intended to help push that accident rate down further. They are recommending that the city install install pedestrian-activated stoplights at all crosswalks on Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega and San Vicente boulevards. Those lights will be coordinated with traffic stoplights to minimize the impact on traffic flow.

Cook’s memo shows that 45 percent of all pedestrian accidents from 2011 through September 2014 occurred on Santa Monica Boulevard. Sunset Boulevard ranked second, with 11 percent, followed by 8 percent on Fountain Avenue, four percent on La Cienega Boulevard and four percent on Robertson Boulevard. Santa Monica Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard are major east-west thoroughfares as well as major centers of nightlife.

While many of the most controversial recent accidents have occurred at night, Cook’s memo shows that such accidents hit their peak during evening rush hour, with many fewer during the other high periods, which are late night (around 1 p.m. ) or at lunch time (noon to one p.m.)

Perhaps most surprising is that more pedestrian accidents occur at crosswalks with traffic signals. Cook’s memo shows 56 of them (68 percent) at signalized crosswalks from 2011 through September 2014 compared to 27 at crosswalks without such signals.

Timing of West Hollywood Pedestrian Accidents. Source WeHo Public Safety Director Kristin Cook
Timing of West Hollywood Pedestrian Accidents. Source WeHo Public Safety Director.
Pedestrian accidents at controlled vs. uncontrolled intersections. Source: WeHo Public Safety Director.
Pedestrian accidents at controlled vs. uncontrolled intersections. Source: WeHo Public Safety Director.
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Ted Green
Ted Green
8 years ago

The writer’s conclusion that pedestrian accidents are trending down is incorrect. In 2011 there were 17, 2013 there were 22 and if this year’s rate continues there will be 24 (according to this report). That’s an upward trend. In 2012 pedestrian accidents spiked at 28, but that doesn’t change the overall trend. I’m glad the City is promising to install signal controlled crosswalks and we need to keep the pressure on to make sure it happens.

Christopher Roth
Christopher Roth
8 years ago

Got your point Chris. I hope that we can resolve this issue and everyone will be safer, more empathetic and more aware. Maybe the safety campaign can be sponsored by an insurance company. Maybe when you press a button to walk you hear a short message reminding you to make eye contact with the driver before stepping in front of the car? We are all smart people with many creative ideas. I’m sure if we all sit down and work together we will make our city even more safe for everyone.

carleton cronin
carleton cronin
8 years ago

Maybe all the jaywalkers are slowly being killed off and their numbers are declining. But, the very fact that we have pedestrian accidents at cross walks must mean not that there is where one goes to be struck by a car but that these accidents happen at all. The numbers and comments regarding the numbers seem to indicate that we’ll just have to put up wit the situation, that it is expected to occur. We could not be any less sanguine about lifef in the big city.

Chris Sanger
Chris Sanger
8 years ago

Christopher – I never said that they should not have citizen input. That is vitally important. I assume they do. I’m just saying all of us here are amateurs with no expertise in traffic management and maybe being aware of that before (not you, but others) claiming that they have answers for problems that may be exaggerated (the two key incidents seem have been jaywalking, which is mostly beyond the city’s control).

Christopher Roth
Christopher Roth
8 years ago

Chris, This City, like every City is made up of elected officials. I think that it is safe to assume that they all have cars. I do not trust that they would understand the day to day hurdles that pedestian citizens without cars (like myself) have navigating West Hollywood. I truely believe that your formula without citizen imput has a huge risk attached witch is the possibility that they (the experts) can get distracted and make critical (or in this case deadly) mistakes. Much like the past few months when none of those people you trust to make these decisions… Read more »

Chris Sanger
Chris Sanger
8 years ago

Dave

Like all of the rest of us here, this isn’t my field of expertise, which in my case I’m willing to admit. My solution is to let the appropriate city departments recommend action based on facts, reality, impact on traffic elsewhere and the city council approve this. Based on my experience of living in this city and its superior city government, I am comfortable letting the experts do their job.

Manny
Manny
8 years ago

Installing a signaled crosswalk must consider the following: *the unintended consequence of seeing a spike in jaywalking (NOTE: 2 of the 4 recent incidents were due to JAYWALKING)…..Some people continue to ignore that detail. *Creates a higher degree of a false sense of security for pedestrians. *MOST pedestrian accidents occur at SIGNALED interactions NOT crosswalks. *Increase in speeding cut-though traffic in adjoining residential streets. *loss of convieniance for those that who choose to cross with caution. *The $1.5 million expense could be put to better use: LIGHTING AT NIGHT (much needed) ENFORCEMENT AWARENESS AND EDUCATION So if four years from… Read more »

dave
dave
8 years ago

SL and Chris Sanger… So what would be the solution to the issue in your eyes? Why would installing a flashing red light while pedestrians are in the crosswalk, be such a detriment to our city? I know they have them in Studio City on Ventura Blvd, and they seem to work. I guess I am confused as to what the argument against the measure is, and why you guys are so passionate about not wanting anything put into place to assure the safety of pedestrians. Please just let me know how you guys would solve the issue if it… Read more »

SL
SL
8 years ago

Dave, every year we hear of kids dying inside hot cars because their parents were forgetful. Does that mean we shoud ban placing kids in cars? Be real. Every bad thing that happens does not deserve an absolutist response. It has to be proportional to reality. I’m sorry you witnessed two accidents. I haven’t witnessed any. So by that measure, there shouldn’t be anything done. But that’s not the point. Statistics help pull people back from emotion and provide a more pragmatic and realistic approach to issues.

Chris Sanger
Chris Sanger
8 years ago

Dave – nice distortion of the argument in claiming people said something no one has said.
Are you serious? No one is saying let’s not make the city safer. Some of us are saying let’s do this is a reality, fact based way, and not do things that might have bad consequences (which changes in hasty traffic pattern changes can do) and let’s not turn this into a political football to advance some narrow political agendas.

Chris Sanger
Chris Sanger
8 years ago

Larry – your stats aren’t based on what I wrote. I said that SM had 90 pedestrian/vehicle accidents the last year (not total accidents, only one particular type, the one being discussed here reported in a city of 90,000; WeHo has never had as many as 30 in a city of 35,000. A lower rate. I have no idea where your 190 comes from. Please explain where your figure of 500% more accidents per capita comes from. It looks like you are comparing apples (total WeHo accidents) to oranges (those involving pedestrians). As someone earlier posted, we’d all be better… Read more »

dave
dave
8 years ago

WOW, how is this even a debate? One side says we should make the city safer, and then the other is arguing that the city should not be safer?!?!?!? This year I have witnessed two pedestrians hit by cars in the crosswalks, the one in front of 24 hour, and the one in front of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Clinton was killed last month, there was a couple hit by a bus and killed a few months ago. Are there really some people on here thinking…”um why should we do anything, look we have statistics!”. Maybe we should just… Read more »

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