ìThe ultimate ending point of State Route 90 has not been decided,î David Sommers, press secretary for Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe ó who represents the Marina area ó told The Argonaut in response to a question about the countyís potential plans to have State Route 90 (Marina Expressway) link up to Admiralty Way at one of three different proposed points in the future, based on an environmental impact report/statement, which could impact pedestrian usage.
No new crosswalks will be added to a three-quarter-mile stretch of Admiralty Way unless the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works deems it necessary based on engineering criteria and sufficient pedestrian demand, said Barry Kurtz, traffic consultant to Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors.
The question of crosswalks arose after a video posting on the Web site www.YouTube.com, ìMarina jaywalking,î criticized the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for alleged lack of concern about pedestrian safety on a three-quarter-mile stretch of Admiralty Way.
The approximately three-quarter-mile stretch of Admiralty Way in question begins 100 feet north of the Lloyd Taber-Marina del Rey Library, 4533 Admiralty Way, and ends at the crosswalk on Admiralty Way across from Fantasea Yachts at 4215 Admiralty Way.
The individual narrating the video about Marina del Rey jaywalking drives a car at the posted speed limit (40 miles per hour) down Admiralty Way, beginning at the new crosswalk 100 feet north of Bali Way near the small park on Admiralty Way, and describes the restaurants, hotel, bikeways, park, Los Angeles County Fire Department Station #110 and the Marina City Club Towers.
Kurtz said that implementation of a crosswalk on that stretch of Admiralty Way would also require a traffic light to assure the safety of pedestrians, since a crosswalk by itself would not slow down traffic on the 40-mile-per-hour road.
In April last year, two crosswalks were added on Admiralty Way, one located 100 feet north of Bali Way past the library near the bike crossing, and one on the south side of Admiralty Way at Mindanao Way, said Kurtz.
Kurtz said that driver complaints have increased significantly since the implementation of the two crosswalks because traffic has to slow down and drivers complain about more gridlock.
A City of San Diego study determined that pedestrians use less caution when using crosswalks and crosswalks can cause more of a hazard to pedestrian safety, said Kurtz.
Los Angeles County public parking Lot #7 is directly across the street from the Ritz-Carlton hotel and the fire station, and the narrator of the video alleges that pedestrians must jaywalk, risking their safety, because there is no crosswalk for pedestrians to access the opposite side of the street safely.
The individual on the Web site video also alleges that county supervisors are hypocrites and not practicing what they preach by advocating a county Web site, ìStraight Talk-Smart Walkî pedestrian safety program, with a ìLittle Chicken Crossing Gameî to teach children how to safely cross the street and pedestrian tips for adults and seniors, while no new crosswalks are even contemplated for this specific stretch of Admiralty Way.
Sommers said that the YouTube video editorializes one position only and that the edited sounds of screeching tires when cars slam on their brakes and the sounds of a baby crying donít lend credibility to the video and donít help the narratorís cause.
Sommers said that county officials take pedestrian safety very seriously but that crosswalks can be dangerous in their own right, reiterating Kurtzís claim about crosswalks.
County-owned Lot #7 is meant for people visiting Admiralty Park on the same side of the street and is not intended for use by individuals visiting the Ritz-Carlton or any of the nearby restaurants, said Sommers.
The Ritz-Carlton, Tony Pís restaurant and other businesses all have their own parking lots so that visitors can park on the premises, Sommers said.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works pedestrian safety program Web site is www.ladpw.org/.