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Santa Monica Is Getting 11 Pedestrian-Friendly Crosswalks That Stop All Cars At Once [Updated]

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Hey baby I hear the blues a callin', tossed salad and scrambled intersections.

Santa Monica Next reports that downtown Santa Monica will be getting 11 "pedestrian scrambles" this year, part of a plan to make getting around the busy district safer for pedestrians, and more efficient for traffic, too.

A pedestrian scramble is not a cannibalistic breakfast dish, but a method of traffic control that supposedly makes crossing the street safer for pedestrians. It simultaneously halts car traffic in all four directions, allowing pedestrians to cross the street diagonally (or the regular way, for that matter). When everyone's done crossing, car traffic resumes.

"Pedestrian scrambles are being implemented in Downtown as a network along Second and Fourth Streets, where pedestrian volumes are very high," Strategic Planning and Transportation Manager Francie Stefan told Santa Monica Next. "The scrambles will reduce potential pedestrian-vehicle conflict points, allowing people to cross comfortably during the pedestrian phase while also enabling vehicles to turn effectively during their signal phase."

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As Curbed notes, the timing of this announcement coincides with that of the news that the Santa Monica Expo Line station will be opening in May. The addition of the scrambles could all be part of making downtown Santa Monica, already an area packed with pedestrians, more hospitable for those who might be getting to and from the Expo Line by foot.

Here are the intersections getting scrambled:

  • Broadway and 4th
  • Broadway and 2nd
  • Santa Monica and 4th
  • Santa Monica and 2nd
  • Arizona and 4th
  • Arizona and 2nd
  • Wilshire and 4th
  • Wilshire and 3rd
  • Wilshire and 2nd

Mayor Garcetti has been gunning for more scrambles since taking office. There's a relatively new one at Hollywood and Highland, but the city has tried pedestrian scrambles before, to mixed results.

In 2008, then-mayor Villaraigosa installed 10 scrambles: four in the Fashion District that were gone within two years, though there are two around USC, two near UCLA in Westwood—areas with particularly high volumes of pedestrian traffic.

Hey, we're down with anything that aims to make walking safer in L.A.

No word yet on when the scrambles will be done.

Updated, 4:45 p.m.: Thanks to Santa Monica Next for the tip that the city aims to have the scrambles completed by the end of June.

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