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The Future of Diagonal

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Beverly Hills has 'em. So does Pasadena. They are the confusing and hardly-ever used diagonal crosswalks — something that locales still fear using for some unknown reason.

LAist couldn't help but wonder what is keeping most of our locales from using such groundbreaking, extremely-advanced crosswalk technology as the diagonal crosswalk. Saving valuable time by allowing pedestrians the opportunity to walk right through the center of an intersection without having to cross horizontally and then vertically to reach their destination, the founding-fathers of such street-walking advances have (in our mind) already secured their place in crosswalk history.

But stand on a corner where a diagonal crosswalk is installed and watch pedestrians go loopy, trying to determine if (even though the signs say it's OK) they will get arrested, ticketed or killed by doing the unthinkable. Watch in wonder as people who desire to do the diagonal-walk wait for others to do so before being 100% sure about their safety. Hear conversations between the elderly, wondering just what new-fangled thing this is:

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Him: Can we cross here?
Her: It says we can.
Him: But there's no light that says walk.
Her: But there are crosswalk lines going this way.
Him: But they only extend a few feet then disappear.
Her: You're right.
Him: Maybe they were going to put one here, then changed their mind.
Her: Let's just cross this way instead.

Maybe cities with diagonal crosswalks would better serve their locals by providing better signage? Perhaps a walk/don't walk signal for the diagonal directions? Perhaps extending actual crosswalks diagonally might help. Perhaps nothing, in the end, will help because the the reality is, people don't want to cross the street diagonally. Perhaps our diagonally-ahead-of-their-time traffic idea-men saddled us with an idea almost as bad as New Coke.

Now that we've laid out all the facts, LAist isn't feeling too positive about the future of the diagonal crosswalk. It just doesn't, you know, feel right.