Police cracking down on jaywalking in downtown LA

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A downtown Los Angeles crosswalk. Photo by Cameron Parkins via Flickr/CC.

This holiday season maybe you’re thinking about going to downtown Los Angeles to shop, see a show, go ice skating.

Well, make sure you obey the walk/don’t walk signs at intersections, and don’t cross in the middle of the street. The police are cracking down on jaywalkers downtown.

KCRW’s Madeleine Brand has this story:

Here’s what it could cost you if you get a ticket for jaywalking: $250.

“As soon as you see the flashing hand come up, you should not step off the curb,” says Sergeant Larry  Delgado of the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division.

Delgado said that during the holiday season more people come downtown, so the police are just trying to make sure they stay safe.

There are a lot of accidents involving pedestrians in LA. According to a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, pedestrians account for about a third of all LA traffic deaths. That’s a lot more than the national average.  But there are a lot more people here – and cars.

Brigham Yen, a realtor and advocate for a vibrant downtown LA, writes the blog DTLA Rising and thinks the police crackdown on jaywalkers is a terrible idea.

“Here we are developing this walking culture in downtown Los Angeles. It’s the only place in LA where you can feel like a true pedestrian, empowered by your fellow walkers,” Yen said. “But instead of encouraging people to walk, and continue walking, and feel proud about walking in Los Angeles, they instead are penalizing pedestrians for walking.”