DISTRICT 4 Press Releases
Councilmember Raman Introduces Motion To Upgrade Traffic Signals And Reduce Traffic Violence
For Immediate Release: October 27, 2023
COUNCILMEMBER RAMAN INTRODUCES MOTION TO UPGRADE TRAFFIC SIGNALS AND REDUCE TRAFFIC VIOLENCE
LOS ANGELES — Today, Councilmember Nithya Raman introduced a motion, co-presented by Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield and Eunisses Hernandez, to upgrade traffic signals where appropriate in order to enhance safety for pedestrians and reduce incidents of traffic violence. In 2023 alone, 134 people walking have been killed by people driving in the City of Los Angeles and 427 people have been severely injured. Councilmember Raman’s legislation instructs the Department of Transportation (LADOT) to revisit its policies and practices related to signal phasing and timing so as to minimize conflicts between people walking and motor vehicle traffic, and minimize wait times for people walking.
“We have seen an alarming increase in pedestrian fatalities not just across the city, but across the country, with over 7,500 pedestrians estimated to have been killed by traffic violence in 2022 – the highest number since 1981,” said Councilmember Raman. “These numbers are nothing short of an epidemic, and it is critical that we employ whatever measures we can to prioritize pedestrian safety. Walking in Los Angeles should not have to come with a safety warning.”
According to the City’s Vision Zero Safety Study for Los Angeles, 70% of our crashes where someone is killed or severely injured (KSI crashes) occur at intersections, many of which are controlled by traffic signals. Signal-focused safety enhancements would serve to set the City on the path toward eliminating deaths and serious injuries for people walking as laid out by the City’s Vision Zero initiative.
“Our streets should be designed for the safety and convenience of all Angelenos, no matter how they travel around the City,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield. “Small changes to traffic signal operations can yield huge safety benefits, especially for those who are walking.”
“Crossing the street shouldn’t be a high-risk activity,” said Councilmember Hernandez. “The number of pedestrians killed or severely injured by traffic violence has increased 11% compared to this time last year. This crisis demands that we do everything in our power to protect pedestrian safety and ensure that residents can walk safely throughout our city.”
“We have a worsening public health crisis on our roads due to traffic violence with pedestrians being hit and killed at far higher numbers than any other group,” said Damian Kevitt, Executive Director, Streets Are For Everyone. “It’s long overdue for the City of Los Angeles to look at how to prioritize the safety of our most vulnerable populations including kids and the elderly. I very much appreciate Councilmember Raman’s efforts to rectify this.”
Councilmember Raman’s legislation instructs the Department of Transportation to submit four separate report backs including:
- A draft policy and implementation plan to modify signal timing citywide to run traffic signals free or with reduced cycle lengths as appropriate.
- A plan to inventory signalized intersections, identifying the timing plans for each intersection for each specified period of the day, as part of any future Department of Transportation asset management system creation or integration.
- An inventory of signalized intersections with pedestrian recall and pre-timed operation instituted during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and a draft policy and implementation plan to make permanent as appropriate.
- Updated guidelines for the use of Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI), scramble crosswalks, and NO RIGHT TURN ON RED restrictions.