As Downtown Los Angeles transforms into a more active urban center, a pedestrian culture is gaining a foothold in the city, and along with that, a clash with LA’s longstanding car culture is underway.
The New York Times recently looked into this battle between drivers and pedestrians in Downtown LA, and more specifically, the Los Angeles Police Department’s concerted crackdown on residents, workers and tourists who illegally cross the street.
The Agency’s Brigham Yen, a respected urbanist, sees the crackdown (with tickets surpassing $200) as the LAPD’s way of penalizing pedestrians and imposing its car-oriented, suburban ways on LA’s “only bona fide urban center.”
“If it’s really about ‘safety’ for the pedestrians as the LAPD contends, then we need to start making Downtown LA more pedestrian friendly, not slapping pedestrians with $250 tickets in isolated situations that do nothing to truly make walking on the streets of LA safer,” Yen states on his blog, DTLA Rising.
“We have to encourage this, not discourage this,” Yen tells the New York Times. “We should let pedestrians in L.A. flourish. We shouldn’t penalize it.”