When an individual on foot reaches an intersection, he or she is supposed to wait there patiently until they receive the “walk” signal telling them that it’s okay to go. That means not crossing when the red hand is solid or even when it’s blinking. However, anyone who has been on the road in Los Angeles may be able to attest that this patience isn’t always exercised, and a new report from the New York Times relates how the police are cracking down on such pedestrians.
The report casts a spotlight on what’s going on downtown, where the Los Angeles Police Department has taken to issuing tickets to those pedestrians who cross the street at inopportune moments. This doesn’t sit well with many of those pedestrians or proponents of pedestrian culture who say that the LAPD is taking a negative approach to the subject at a time when walking and cycling should be encouraged.
One person interviewed for the story bemoaned the fact that he got a nearly $200 ticket simply for crossing the street while the signal was blinking (which means that persons in the street may continue walking but others still on the curb should stop and wait). When asked about the new policy recently, the police chief of the LAPD noted that pedestrians can impede traffic flow by congregating in crosswalks at inappropriate times.