A new initiative led by City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, StreetsLA, and LADOT aims to bring new safety enhancements to a section of Western Avenue in South Los Angeles which has long been plagued by traffic collisions.
In 2017, Los Angeles transportation officials identified the segment of Western Avenue between Washington Boulevard in Harvard Heights and Century Boulevard in Gramercy Park as part of the city's "High Injury Network." This distinction means that Western is among the 6 percent of the city streets that account for roughly 70 percent of the pedestrian injuries and fatalities. City officials have responded with the implementation of new continental crosswalks, speed feedback signs, upgraded signals, and leading pedestrian intervals, among other improvements. The new initiative, dubbed "Western Our Way," looks to expand upon those improvements.
The project corridor focuses on the 4.5-mile section of Western between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the north and Century Boulevard to the south. Plans call for the addition of new signalized pedestrian crossings, curb extensions, median islands, landscaped medians, street trees, and pedestrian lighting. Per a project website, Western Our Way includes:
- 85 continental crosswalks;
- 4 ladder crosswalks;
- 4 high-intensity activated crosswalks;
- Tightening of 23 intersections;
- 5 pedestrian paddle signs;
- 3 pedestrian activated flashing yellow beacons;
- 10 speed feedback signs;
- 2 new traffic signals;
- 1 nighttime flashing yellow traffic signal; and
- 10 protected left turn signals.
Plans also call for additional improvements on parallel corridors, including diagonal diverters, neighborhood traffic circles, and speed humps.
The City of Los Angeles has applied for a Caltrans Active Transportation Program with the hope of funding the Western Our Way improvements. Funding awards are to be announced in early 2023.