As part of an ongoing citywide effort to enhance pedestrian safety, starting on Thursday, August 11, 2022, the City of West Hollywood will implement a nighttime “all-walk” pedestrian-only phase for the crosswalks at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and N. Robertson Boulevard on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.
This nighttime pedestrian-only phase temporarily stops all vehicular traffic in all directions, which then allows pedestrians to cross traditionally or diagonally. The aim is to enhance pedestrian safety and improve traffic flow. This concept was first tested at this intersection in 2019; this re-instates a pedestrian-only phase at this intersection, which is the most pedestrian-trafficked intersection in the City during certain evening hours, accommodating up to 2,000 pedestrians per hour.
Standard traditionally phased signals at intersections are designed to offer vehicles and pedestrians the opportunity to move together in the same direction at the same time. Potential conflicts may arise when there is a high volume of vehicular traffic making left or right turns, which means that cars are able to pass through pedestrian crossings during green walk signals (though drivers of cars are always mandated to yield to pedestrians in accordance with state law).
The City of West Hollywood, in developing a nighttime pedestrian-only phase for the crosswalks at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and N. Robertson Boulevard, seeks to add an additional layer of pedestrian safety by eliminating all vehicle movement at the intersection at the times that pedestrian volume is the highest. During the day and on lower-volume nights when the intersection has a lower pedestrian count, the intersection will function with standard traditionally phased signals, which will offer longer periods of green lights for vehicles to ensure maximum traffic flow at commute hours, while still regarding pedestrian safety.
Intersection improvements are part of the City’s continuous commitment to explore a mix of measures to address safety. The constant movement of dense vehicular traffic and pedestrians in close proximity is an ongoing challenge not only in West Hollywood but in cities across the nation. The nighttime pedestrian-only phase for the crosswalks at this intersection joins a variety of improvements as part of comprehensive plan with three unique areas to improve pedestrian safety: Engineering, Enforcement, and Education.