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 IF IT'S BROKEN...FIX IT

Getting Serious about LA’s Sidewalk Repairs: A Five-Point ‘Let’s-Get-On-with-It’ Plan

Ken Alpern
FIXING LA-Last Tuesday night's City Council Board of Public Works and Budget Committees met and allowed a lot of good public input to a series of concerned and available Councilmembers and City officials. The attendance and input were both outstanding--I want to thank Councilmember Mike Bonin, in particular, for allowing the outreach and advice to…

Latino Politicians Putting Climate Change Ahead of Constituents

Joel Kotkin
POLITICS-Racial and economic inequality may be key issues facing America today, but the steps often pushed by progressives, including minority politicians, seem more likely to exacerbate these divisions than repair them. In a broad arc of policies affecting everything from housing to employment, the agenda being adopted serves to stunt upward…

Worlds Apart on Kathryn Steinle: When Political Opportunism Reigns Supreme

John Mirisch
MUSING WITH MIRISCH-The small Swedish Jewish Museum in Stockholm is tucked away on a side street. Discreet signage instructs would-be visitors to push a button which activates a camera, so they can be screened before they are granted entry. The museum's permanent exhibition fills one fairly small room. Most of the objects on display are Jewish…

Garcetti Passes, Wesson Fails

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Our Los Angeles Times has issued midterm letter grades for Controller Ron Galperin (B-) and City Attorney Mike Feuer (B+) and will be posting grades for City Council President Herb Wesson this Sunday and Mayor Eric Garcetti the following Sunday. Our City is facing many difficult issues, ranging from a lagging economy, relatively high…

What LA Really Needs: A Part-time City Council and a Part-time Mayor!

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-There are so many serious and pressing problems facing the City of Los Angeles and few if any real solutions are being proposed or implemented by our elected and appointed leaders at City Hall. I will start with the current city budget. Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had a $7.7 billion total budget in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.…

Why Don’t the City’s Women Managers Hire More Women?

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN-Perusing the web is a little like the soap operas of yesteryear. You get suckered in! One link leads to another link and then one is exposed to a barrage both facts and idiocy. The reason for this discussion was my attending a July Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) meeting with the Department of Water and Power. General…

Cleaning Up LA City Hall: ‘It’s What’s Legal That’s the Problem’

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-Everyone understands that developers own our city government. Sure, there are some officials here and there who are upright and independent, but recent history shows that the developers typically get their way in spite of public opposition. Whether it is a zoning change for an office tower or the required permits for a new mall,…

Not So Fast LA! Let’s Consider the Real Costs of Hosting the Olympics before We Jump In

Greg Nelson
SPORTS POLITICS-On Monday, Boston withdrew from its offer to be the nation’s bidder for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. In January, Los Angeles finished second to Boston when the U.S. Olympic Committee made its decision. After Boston was selected to polish up its bid before submitting it to the International Olympic Committee for a final decision,…

Party Crashing for Political Access: Schwarzenegger and My Pantsuit

Charlotte Laws
CALIFORNIA ACCESS POLITICS-Party crashing—or gate-crashing, as it is sometimes called—is an art form that I stumbled upon as a teen. I taught myself how to finagle into any event, anywhere, anytime. It required being part private eye, part actress and part chutzpah machine. I had to think outside of the box, throw myself into the role, and whip my…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Joey has hope for the pope in Philly.





Art or Ad? LA’s mural law written in gray ink

Escape the Room-Conan goes for the record … and the laffs


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

LA’s Guilt Trip: Naming Crosswalks after Our Dead Children

RETHINKING LA - Barry Sanders is the most recent member of LA’s civic elite to be honored for his contribution to society by having his name attached to a piece of LA’s public infrastructure, in this case the athletic field at Anthony C. Beilenson Park.

There was a time when honors such as these were reserved for those who had retired or moved on, bestowed on the honored party as the community looked back on the public figure’s career and legacy of public service.
Now these awards are doled out to active members of the community by commissions, committees, and councils that are still doing business with the honored party, calling into question the integrity of the award.

Of course, there’s an upside to this scenario. If public officials stand a chance of having ball parks and community centers named in their honor, perhaps they will be motivated to build more facilities. They’ll also have a vested interest in seeing them properly maintained, after all, it has their name on it.

While the debate over naming rights to LA’s infrastructure goes on, challenging the process that litters the landscape of LA’s public space with “tags” that memorialize public officials, another process of memorializing those who have made the ultimate sacrifice quietly slips by.

The City of LA has a charming tradition of honoring dead pedestrians, those who have lost their lives in the simple attempt to cross the street.

Sometimes the honor comes with a traffic signal.

Bill Winograd was crossing Hyperion Avenue when he was hit by a car so hard, he flew 25 feet through the air and skidded on the street, dying soon after. His tragic death motivated a City Councilman to prioritize a traffic signal that now stands in honor of a man who had to die in order to get the City of LA to support pedestrians in a densely populated residential community.

12-year-old Emely Aleman and her 10-year-old cousin Angela Rodriguez were attempting to cross Laurel Canyon Boulevard when they were struck by a jeep Wrangler and thrown about 50 feet. Angela survived but Emely died, a tragic loss that motivated there City Councilman to prioritize a traffic signal , prompting Gabriel Avila, her uncle, to declare “It shouldn’t take a life to save lives.”

Sometimes the honor comes with a crosswalk.

Demariya Grant was nine when he attempted to cross Rodeo Road, only to be killed by a hit-and-run motorist. His tragic death prompted the City of Los Angeles to memorialize the incident with the “Demariya Grant Memorial Crosswalk."

Jason Quarker was struck and killed while crossing Jefferson on his way to the 6th Avenue Elementary School, prompting the City of Los Angeles to memorialize his sacrifice with the "Jason Quarker Memorial Crosswalk" at 6th and Jefferson.

This past week, 24-year-old Ashley Sandau was struck by a car and killed as she attempted to cross Rowena Avenue. Her death stirred great debate over the need to calm vehicular traffic through Silver Lake and prompting community members to lobby the Councilman for traffic calming.

Two days later, a pedestrian attempted to cross Normandie when he was killed by a hit-and-run motorist. His death failed to cause a ripple in the media, demonstrating the fact that pedestrian deaths are so common, they fail to qualify as news.

The City of LA has a pedestrian death rate of 7.64 deaths per 100,000 residents. This is more than double New York City’s death rate of 3.49.

Now is the time for LA’s leadership to put down the self-awarded honors and to start giving some respect to the people of LA, starting with a commitment to do more than slap traffic signals over crime scenes that have taken the lives of Angelenos.

The only City Officials worthy of naming rights are the ones that are busy calming LA’s deadly traffic, pushing for Safe Routes to School funding, installing bulbouts and refuge islands, slowing cut-through traffic, and moderating flow with speed tables and chicanes.

When the streets of LA are safer and the tradition of naming crosswalks after dead children is a thing of the past, then and only then will LA’s leadership have earned the right to honor themselves by putting their names on our infrastructure.

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at: Stephen@thirdeyecreative.net. You can also find him on Twitter and on Facebook.) Photo Credit: la.streetsblog.org.
–cw

Tags: Stephen Box, Rethinking LA, traffic deaths, Los Angeles







CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 28
Pub: Apr 6, 2012

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