Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Monday the addition of 53 crosswalks aimed at reducing the number of pedestrians hit by vehicles.
The so-called continental crosswalks are painted with two-foot-wide yellow or white stripes and include a stop-line before the crosswalks to prevent motorists from encroaching on pedestrians' walking space. | » Pedestrian killed this morning in Van Nuys
Villaraigosa spoke to reporters at the first continental crosswalk installed at Fifth and Spring streets, where he announced an educational campaign to accompany the rollout of the new crosswalks.
The crosswalks and campaign will be funded by Measure R, the 2008 half-cent sales tax increase for transportation improvements. The crosswalks will be painted over the next three months, according to the mayor's office.
"Los Angeles is in the midst of a transportation renaissance," Villaraigosa said.
"We are doubling the size of our rail network, making improvements to traffic flow and adding new bikeways. But we need to ensure that no one gets left behind. This focus on pedestrian safety is part of our efforts to create a 21st century transportation network that works for everyone."
The 53 intersections are mostly near transit lines or schools and were selected because they accounted for a disproportionate number of vehicle-pedestrian collisions.
The city's newly hired pedestrian coordinator, Margot Ocanas, said the "Be Aware" campaign will alert drivers - via billboards, bus shelters and public service announcements on radio and TV - on how to safely share the road with walkers.
"Los Angeles is a city of walkers, and this is an important first step in making sure pedestrians across the city are safer during their travels," Ocanas said. "The new crosswalks make a clear statement that our streets belong to everyone and that we should be safe when sharing the road."