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Do L.A. City Councilmembers Really Care About Pedestrian Safety?

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Photo by Atwater Village Newbie via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by Atwater Village Newbie via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
No matter what, we are all a pedestrian at some point when getting from here to there. But in a city that has more pedestrian deaths than most others, how much attention is paid to sidewalks and other walking-related infrastructure from our politicians?

Not much, if you look at the city's official Pedestrian Advisory Committee. 80% of Los Angeles City Councilmembers have failed to appoint a representative to the committee that is supposed to provide feedback on pedestrian safety and mobility on city projects.

Only three people sit on a committee that should have at least a member per each of its 15 city council districts. They are committee chair Deborah Murphy, an urban designer and planner appointed by Council President Eric Garcetti, downtown's Jan Perry-appointee Mike Smart and Josh Elliot-McGifie from Bill Roensdahl's Westside district.

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When it comes to City Council staffmembers, only one comes and that's a representative from Garcetti's office. That's a good sign. After all, he represents one of the most pedestrian heavy areas in the city: Hollywood.

Also missing are appointees from the Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office and a handful of Assembly Districts.

And if you look at LADOT's website, the last committee agenda that was posted was in the spring of 2009, yet there are four meeting a year, including this Thursday.

Part of the problem in recruiting, however, may be due to scheduling. Tomorrow's meeting takes place at 2 p.m. at the Caltrans building (it's open to the public and in the San Pedro room). But in a city this large and with many active constituents, we're sure there are people who would be willing to take four afternoons a year off to work on pedestrian issues.