Volunteers Counting Bicyclists, Pedestrians Today

bicyclist.jpg
(Photo by work the angles via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)

Chances are you'll see someone with a clipboard at an intersection today; In an effort to make the city more pedestrian- and bike-friendly, volunteers will be counting the number of people walking and bicycling at key intersections.

In what's called (aptly enough) the 2013 Los Angeles Bicycle and Pedestrian Count, hundreds of volunteers will monitor the number of pedestrians and bicyclists passing by 120 intersections from the San Fernando Valley to South Los Angeles, CBS 2 reports.

The count is done every two years: In 2011, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and L.A. Walks counted 15,000 bicyclists and 75,000 pedestrians — up from 14,000 bicyclists and 62,000 pedestrians in 2009.

Westside Councilman Mike Bonin, told KNX, "While the [classic '80s] song says, 'Nobody walks in LA,' everybody walks in LA."

"We have tons of data about how many cars we have, where they go, and we never have enough information about walking and cycling," Bonin said. He's volunteering at the corner of Bundy Drive and Idaho Avenue in West Los Angeles this morning, City News Service reports.

The Councilman cited the statistic that every 3.5 days someone is killed in L.A. "because it's just not sufficiently safe for cyclists or pedestrians."

Police and the City Council also want to lower the outrageously high occurrences of hit-and-runs, which are a staggering 20,000 per year in L.A.

"It's imperative that we do it because we're building a 21st Century mass transit system in LA, and the key to that is the first and the last mile of your commute," Bonin told KNX. "We need to be fixing our sidewalks and we need to make sure we have not just safe routes to schools, but safe routes to transit."

This year's first count, timed for peak traffic, went from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Volunteers will be back out from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. today, and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, according to CNS.

Related:
LAPD Detective Talks L.A.'s Hit-And-Run Crisis On '20/20'
Motion To Shrink L.A.'s 20,000 Annual Hit-And-Run Cases Goes Before Public Safety Committee