Celebrating a Safer Westlake-MacArthur Park

Between Monday, June 5 and Saturday, June 10, LADOT partnered with Central City Neighborhood Partners (CCNP) to present “20 Miles Saves Lives — 20 Millas Salva Vidas,” a traffic-safety campaign to publicize and celebrate improvements to the MacArthur Park-Westlake area. A week of art, music, education, and participatory planning culminated in a street festival on Saturday, featuring traditional Latin American dancing, an appearance by Council Member Gil Cedillo, and a march down 6th Street led by the famous activist Peatonito. When the improvements are finished, 6th Street between Rampart and Beaudry, Wilshire Blvd. between Rampart and Valencia, and Alvarado Street between 6th and 7th, will feature new designs that improve visibility and safety for all road users.

Council Member Gil Cedillo addresses the crowd.

All week long, neighborhood residents had access to a newly created pocket park at 6th Street and Columbia, where there was a daily art workshop with recycled products. Daily walks through the neighborhood alerted residents and business owners to the exciting changes coming to the area. On Saturday, a daylong festival and resource fair brought civic organizations, neighborhood groups, and local artists to MacArthur Park. Attendees could look at plans to improve the streets and pick the kind of crosswalk they wanted to install at the intersection of 7th and Alvarado, and a dance troupe performed traditional dances from various regions of Mexico.

At the end of the day, the famous pedestrian superhero Peatonito also came by, to participate in a telenovela about street safety and ten lead a march through the neighborhood. Residents walked from MacArthur Park to the pocket park at 6th and Columbia, waving signs and chanting “20 Millas Salva Vidas! 20 Miles Saves Lives!” to the cheers of onlookers.

Thank you to our partners at CCNP and all the local community organizations that helped to make this event a success!

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This post was written by Jordan Fraade.

Bringing Improvements to West Adams Blvd.

 

Between Saturday, May 6 and Friday, May 12, LADOT partner organizations LA-Mas and PESA (Parent Educators, Teachers & Students in Action) produced “X-ing on Adams,” a Vision Zero traffic safety education campaign and creative installation on West Adams Boulevard between Fairfax and Rimpau.

At the sites of collisions involving people walking or biking, LA-Mas wrapped nearby light or utility poles in red and indicated the number of crashes with a triangular marker. For example,a “7” marker would indicate that 7 car crashes that injured pedestrians or bicyclists had occurred at that location since 2013, including 1 fatality. Crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists were also marked with a red “X” on the pavement, with informational text printed in temporary chalk paint in both English and Spanish. Throughout the corridor, light poles were also wrapped in yellow and black to simulate “Caution” tape, encouraging drivers to slow down and be careful. Check out this great video from the point of view of a driver heading down West Adams through the installation:

Throughout the week, PESA connected with Dorsey High School and John Adams Middle School, local nonprofit organizations, neighborhood councils, and faith-based organizations to deliver presentations and host discussions on Vision Zero. Student volunteers from Dorsey and John Adams served as ambassadors for the design installations along the boulevard throughout the week, explaining the purpose behind them and conducting surveys related to the community’s experiences of traffic safety.

On Friday, May 12, LA-Mas and PESA hosted a culminating event at West Adams’ Cafe Fais Do Do, where community members came together to share their experiences of traffic collisions, serious injuries, fatalities, and how important street safety is to the community. LADOT was on site to share proposed traffic-safety improvements for the street and solicit community feedback. Attendees ranging from young children in strollers to senior citizens enjoyed homemade chili and cornbread and music spun by a local DJ.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Introducing Video Analytics Towards Vision Zero: A new way to prevent collisions before they happen

When the Vision Zero LA team comes to work every day, we know the statistics about traffic collisions. In addition to the national numbers (40,000 deaths and 4.6 million injuries), we think locally: Every year more than 200 people die on the streets of Los Angeles, half of whom are pedestrians or cyclists. Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 2 and 14.

Crowdsourced technology has already changed the way many of us get around (Lyft, Uber, Waze, and so on). What if we could also use technology to predict where vehicle collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists will occur, and then take steps to prevent them? Thanks to a new online platform and partnership called Video Analytics Towards Vision Zero, everyday citizens can play a role in teaching computers how to recognize and prevent potential traffic collisions before they happen.

By using footage from traffic cameras across North America, VAVZ will “teach” computers how to recognize near-miss collisions. Data from these machine learning systems will allow transportation engineers to predict where crashes will occur and take proactive measures to prevent them.

To help this platform reach its potential, volunteers are needed starting June 1.! Here’s how it works: You will view a short clip of a pre-recorded traffic scene, then label and track the movement of each person or vehicle within the screen. By doing so, the computer can begin to distinguish a person walking, biking, or using a wheelchair; a bus or car; then recognize patterns of near misses. Until you get accustomed to using the labeling tools, it may take you several minutes to complete the task – plan on at least five minutes or longer per task at the start — but once you master the image tracking tools, your speed will increase. You can submit just one task, or complete as many as you’d like.

If you’d like more information, you can visit the VAVZ website and see more of their research (including an article in ITE Journal).

For additional information on this partnership please contact Franz Loewenherz, project manager of the Video Analytics Towards Vision Zero Partnership, at +1-425-452-4077 or floewenherz@bellevuewa.gov.