Pedestrians Are People Too

Re: “Road Diet Opposition Won’t Relent,” News, Aug. 17

Traffic is terrible and it will continue to be terrible, and become even worse, as long as so many insist on driving everywhere, all the time. The population of Southern California continues to increase through new arrivals and in-region births. I try to do my part to reduce traffic, avoid polluting the air, and lessen my carbon footprint by riding public transit as much as possible. This makes me a pedestrian, and the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa’s suggestion to install pedestrian bridges in lieu of safer roadways is not the answer for protecting pedestrian safety.

The answer is for drivers to look at pedestrians not as objects to move around, but to put their feet on the brake pedal and stop when pedestrians are walking in the streets. It doesn’t matter if I am in the crosswalk with a green walk sign or not — drivers are neither taking care to look for, nor stopping for pedestrians. Even when I have the complete right-of-way walking with the green walk sign in the crosswalk, drivers slowly creep towards me. This makes me very nervous. Some drivers jump on the gas and screech in front of me to make their right turn before I cross and, in the process, come close to hitting me. Others cannot wait for me to clear the middle of the intersection before driving right behind me as I walk in the crosswalk. These are dangerous driving maneuvers.

Drivers, when you see pedestrians, stop. Just stop. Put your foot on the brake pedal, the one to the left of the accelerator. Look at the pedestrians, make sure they have cleared the intersection, then proceed.

Stopping is part of driving.

Driving slower and not using mobile devices while driving would also make us pedestrians feel a little safer.

The suggestion of pedestrian bridges must surely come from drivers who do not walk the city. I do a lot of walking in this spread-out city, and what I don’t need is another ramp or more stairs to climb just because drivers can’t be bothered to respect the rights of pedestrians.

Matthew Hetz



Road Diet Rat Race

Re: “The Numbers Don’t Add Up,” Letters, Sept. 21

Ever try to make a left turn across traffic that’s been squeezed from three lanes to two (like on Venice Boulevard)?

Motorists must wait until the cars in all the opposing squeezed lanes go through an intersection, often until the light starts changing. At that point you must confront the last of the opposite lane traffic trying to shoot through the yellow before it turns red and the honking drivers piled up behind you, all while the last of the cross traffic is lined up in a perfect blocking formation as they too wait to get through the intersection.

Frustrated drivers become angry drivers after a while. The sound of skidding rubber, the squeal of brakes and the verbal abuse hurled from car windows at other motorists becomes quite a chorus.

I purposely went to the Venice Grind coffee shop yesterday in order to sign the petition to recall L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin. (The owner is one of
the Recall Bonin leaders.) Wouldn’t you know: The barista looked at me strangely and asked, “What petition?”

Jack Casey

Mar Vista