Does the LAPD's Enforcement of Jaywalking Put Jerry Ferrara in Danger in NYC?
Back in June, Jerry Ferrara talked to George Lopez about jaywalking in Los Angeles.
When Jerry Ferrara moved to Los Angeles, he got a $425 jaywalking ticket. He says he now won't jaywalk in New York City where a recent New York City study found jaywalkers to be safer than law-abiding citizens.
That was the study we brought up on Tuesday. It's the one that said Los Angeles is deadlier than many other U.S. cities when it comes to pedestrians. But for New Yorkers, the study also had some surprising conclusions. The New York Times explained:
Taxis, it turns out, were no careering menace: cabs accounted for far fewer pedestrian accidents in Manhattan than privately owned vehicles. Jaywalkers, surely the city’s most numerous scofflaws, were involved in fewer collisions than their law-abiding counterparts who waited for the “walk” sign. And one discovery could permanently upend one of the uglier stereotypes of the motoring world: in 80 percent of city accidents that resulted in a pedestrian’s death or serious injury, a male driver was behind the wheel….
What's interesting is that Los Angeles officials sort of agree with that sentiment, but without saying it so directly. Whenever I talk about marked crosswalks with city councilmembers or LADOT staff, they spew a mantra that goes something like this: "marked crosswalks are dangerous because people feel a false sense of security."
And that's probably why the law-abiders in New York are getting hit. The same goes here, too, and probably everywhere, at least in my experience (where's L.A.'s in-depth pedestrian study so we can really find out?). Back in 2005 I was legally walking across the street a traffic-controlled intersection and was hit from behind -- I never saw it coming, nor did the granny making a left turn into me (she booked it, but don't worry, I got her license plate number).
I've never felt secure when crossing the street, but I guess I was missing that whole check behind you thing every few seconds. Believe me, I've got that habit now!
In the end, the issue comes down to balance. Just like drivers, pedestrians need to be vigilant in being aware of their surroundings, especially when legally crossing a street. For city leaders and planners, there's a lot of work to do. L.A. has been uninstalling a number of marked crosswalks, but is that the right approach?