Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

How To LA

How The Crosswalk Collective Is Trying To Make Streets Safer... Their Own Way

A woman with a dark green puffer vest, jeans, and a rolling backpack, faces her back to the camera as she crosses the street.
A woman crosses the street at the four-way intersection on Lemon Grove Avenue and Hobart Boulevard.
(Samanta Helou Hernandez
We need to hear from you.
Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Navigating Los Angeles traffic can be a life or death situation. We live in the second-deadliest city for pedestrians – after New York – and it’s only gotten worse. This, despite efforts (and talk) to bring the number of fatalities down.

DIY crosswalks for safety

About How to LA Newsletter
  • This is the web version of our How To LA newsletter. Sign up here to get this newsletter sent to your inbox each weekday morning

Over the years, streets have been redesigned, bike lanes and crosswalks put in and more lights and traffic signs installed. But for one group, change did not happen fast enough and, as my colleague Caitlin Hernández reported, they’ve been taking matters into their own hands and making their own crosswalks for pedestrians.

Support for LAist comes from

The Crosswalk Collective is a small group of community members who take part in guerrilla painting streets at intersections to make them safer to cross. On the website it states in big white letters: “The city of Los Angeles doesn't keep us safe, so we keep us safe.”

Often their crosswalks are removed as they are not sanctioned by the city. A spokesperson for the L.A. Department of Transportation told Caitlin that they’re illegal and making them could result in “citations, fines and fees charged to cover the city’s cost of removal.”

But recently, as Caitlin reports in their latest story, two of Crosswalk Collective’s "unauthorized'' crosswalks became official in East Hollywood. The city then added two more at the same intersection.

It’s not clear why LADOT replaced these crosswalks with its own, but the Crosswalk Collective considers it a win. The group told Caitlin that the replacement doesn’t matter. What does matter is the fact that they installed a crosswalk for pedestrian and cyclist safety.

“When LADOT installs a new crosswalk in the place of one of ours, it’s a direct response to our action, as well as a tacit acknowledgment of the city's failure to be proactive in building out this infrastructure,” the Collective said in a statement to LAist.

Read the rest of Caitlin’s story to learn more about the DIY crosswalks that have been removed and/or replaced around the city.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More news

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • There are now plans for L.A.’s largest power plant to generate electricity in the near future, and move away from fossil fuels. It’s an $800 million plan that will burn green hydrogen. Wanna know what that means? Read here.
  • ACLU and other advocacy groups are urging for a state inspection after 18 people died inside Riverside County Jails last year. The groups state that incarcerated people’s mental health care and medical needs were not being met inside the jails, and there was an increase of drug overdoses. 
  • Even though COVID-19 policies are rolling back nationwide and also statewide, you’re going to need to hold onto your face masks if you go to health care and long-term facilities in California. 
  • The Huntington Beach city council voted to rescind a decision to fly the rainbow Pride flag on city property. This comes after four new councilmembers obtained seats on the board, making a new conservative majority in November. 
  • It can be challenging to figure out how to help after a natural disaster hits a country thousands of miles away. NPR’s Diana Cole talked to three humanitarian aid experts who had advice about donating to Turkey and Syria earthquake survivors. And here’s some information on how L.A.’s Turkish community is rallying to offer aid. 
  • Myrlie Evers-Williams was a civil rights activist whose husband, NAACP Medgar Evers was assassinated in 1963. Read about how she just recently donated her archival collection to Pomona College. 
  • Actor Alec Baldwin was sued again for the Rust fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins, this time by her parents and sister. My colleague John Horn has more details about the lawsuit. 
  • If you use Fabuloso to clean your floors, it’s time that you immediately stop. Why? Well, 4.9 million Fabuloso cleaning products were recalled over a risk of bacteria contamination. My colleague Nate Perez shared an essay about how the news hits close to home.
Support for LAist comes from
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

Wait ... one more thing

Attend a lovey dovey vampire-themed cabaret OR enjoy the Pan African Film Festival

A distorted image of a fve-story burning building.
A group exhibition that explores the relationship between art and activism opens at Subliminal Projects this weekend.
(Detail of Gordon Cheung's '30 May 2020 Minneapolis (History Glitch),' 2020.)

February is a time of honoring Blackness in all of its beauty as well as a time for love. There’s a ton of events this weekend where you can do both. If you get mushy for vampire-esque macabre and you love the movie Queen of the Damned, check out the Bloody Valentines Series at the Million Dollar Theatre. The prices start at $25.

Calling all of my film lovers? If you fit the bill, make sure you attend the Pan African Film Festival at the Cinemark in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The festival features more than 150 films from 40 countries. Costs start at just $6.

Looking for something that’s FREE.99? Let’s chat about audio-themed events. Watch the Go Fact Yourself LIVE podcast recording on Saturday at The Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena, or jam and grub tonight with the KCRW crew during an open house at the California African American Museum.

Help Us Cover Your Community
  • Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.

  • Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.