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Mayor Villaraigosa unveils plan to improve 53 crosswalks

December 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
In an effort to keep pedestrians safe, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled the first of 53 new crosswalks Monday.

The new "Continental Crosswalk was unveiled at the intersection of Spring and 5th streets in downtown.

The crosswalk features painted stripes that are two feet wide to make it more visible to motorists.

"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 intersections chosen for new crosswalks have high rates of pedestrian vehicle collisions. The project, which accompanies an educational campaign called "Be Aware", aims to improve walking conditions in these areas by clearly designating where pedestrians should walk.

Margot Ocanas, the city's new pedestrian coordinator, said the "Be Aware" campaign stresses how important it is for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to share the road and give each other enough clearance.

"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."

The rest of the crosswalks are scheduled to be painted within the next three months.

CNS contributed to this report.


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