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.
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.