May 2008 – ‘Smart” Crosswalk Coming To Abbot Kinney And Rialto Ave.

After repeated requests by Abbot Kinney merchants and residents, the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has agreed to install flashing lights at the intersection. At least two people who were trying to cross AKB have been hit by cars.
Transportation Engineer Mohammad Blorfroshan told the Beachhead that the pedestrian-operated lights will be installed during June.

“A smart crosswalk is an additional warning for the driver,” said Blorfroshan. “We still want the pedestrian to look at the cars, not the signal,” he added.

DOT has set of guidelines for installing a smart crosswalk, which include the number of cars and pedestrians, visibility, etc.

However, DOT is still removing crosswalks which they feel are not warranted. Blorfroshan says they will post a notice asking for input before removing the crosswalk.

The city has initially said a smart crosswalk was not needed at AKB and Rialto. It reversed itself after Bunny Lua, of The Green House, offered to pay for the installation. DOT turned her down, but conducted a new study, which showed the smart crosswalk was needed.

The crossing at Rialto is dangerous due to a sharp curve in Abbot Kinney Blvd and because of the increased “cut-through” traffic from commuters speeding to get home.

If you know of a location where a smart crosswalk, or even a dumb crosswalk is needed, you can make a request by emailing DOT at ladot.westerndistrict@lacity.org or by calling 310-575-8138.

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