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Altadena and Pedestrian Safety

How does Altadena compare with the rest of the country with its pedestrian safety?

A national advocacy group that looked at a decades worth of data ranked the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area as number 27 in a list of the 52-most-dangerous areas for pedestrians nationwide.

The group, Transportation for America, mapped out the more than 47,000 pedestrian deaths in the country from 2000 to 2009, and according to their figures, there were seven people killed in Altadena during that time.

The most recent fatality from that period was a 32-year-old man killed on March 18, 2009 at the intersection of Lake and Mariposa, according to the map, which can be viewed here.

In the last year, though a fatality has not been reported in Altadena, there have been some notable traffic accidents, including:

  • A in a crosswalk near the Lake/Altadena intersection in January
  • A while crossing the intersection of Altadena and Glenrose last October
  • Two were injured when an on Lake Avenue.
  • A at East Woodbury Road and North Garfield Avenue in March.

The full Transportation for America report notes that 12 percent of total traffic accidents involve pedestrians and suggests that the main cause of pedestrian deaths are roads that are poorly designed for pedestrian safety.

It makes a number of recommendations on how to fix the problem, including expansion of sidewalks, trails, and bike lanes, as well as prioritizing walkers and de-prioritizing the speed of traffic in designing side streets and connector roads.

Pat August 05, 2011 at 02:47 PM
All of North Lake Avenue, beginning at Altadena Drive, is definitely the most dangerous in Altadena. The number of people walking and crossing is astounding - they are either walking their dogs, walking to shops, or walking to the hiking trail. And everyone knows that North Lake Avenue is really North Lake Speedway. We need more crosswalks and more speed control desperately. Pedestrians don't stand a chance, and we're all holding our breath waiting for the worst to happen. (The crosswalk at the Post Office is a target too.)
ed meyers August 05, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Pat - here's info on the proposed restriping of No.Lake above Altadena Dr....supposed to go from 2 lanes to one each way. http://www.altadenatowncouncil.org/documents/lake_ave_restriping.pdf I agree on the crosswalk btwn Ralphs & Post office. Luckily, crosswalkers pay attention b/c many cars don't. I'd like to see blinking lights along the crosswalk that are activated by a push button on either side of the crosswalk.
Laura Monteros August 05, 2011 at 04:15 PM
North Lake Ave. to be sure--and a lot of people cross in the middle of the block (often within 50 feet of a crosswalk) so it's even more dangerous. The most dangerous intersection for cyclists is Casitas and Ventura. It's a T intersection that has three stop signs, with a right turn lane on Casitas towards JPL. This is a busy area in the morning when people are going to work at JPL or turning south on Windsor to get to the 210. The problem is many cyclists do not observe the stop signs. When a car enters the intersection after stopping and a cyclist blows through, it is an accident-in-the-making.
Pat August 06, 2011 at 03:43 PM
Ed - I already know about the proposed restriping (the county sent out letters ages ago) and am taking a 'wait and see' attitude. I'm concerned that cars turning left onto the streets off North Lake will do it faster than they do now to beat a single line of traffic. I attended the Traffic Committee meetings regularly and pushed for speed enforcement on North Lake as well as on my little side street. But evidently 25mph means 45 mph on side streets. No one enforces side street speed.
Lorraine Pozniak August 06, 2011 at 09:58 PM
The crosswalk between the Post Office and Ralphs is the worst. If I go to Ralphs and then decide to walk across the street to go to the Post Office, Dutch Oven, or Pizza Joe's, I feel like I'm taking my life into my hands. The Sheriff's Dept. should set up a sting operation and ticket every person that doesn't stop for pedestrians. They do this all the time in LA, in December. They dress someone in a Santa suit, see how many people blow past him as he's trying to cross the street, and then ticket them. We don't need to wait for Santa; this needs to be done now, before somebody gets killed at that crosswalk. Changing the number of traffic lanes on Lake will do nothing but make things worse. The existing speed limits and traffic laws simply need to be enforced.
Lisa Maiorana August 07, 2011 at 02:43 AM
I agree with you Lorraine. You're literally taking your life into your hands when you cross that crosswalk. It's become so bad that I won't do it if my children are with me because the cars simply do not stop. You have to wait for there to be no traffic, look out for the people going the wrong direction in and out of Ralph's parking lot and don't forget to look for the people making a dangerous u-turn (I see that ALL the time). Scary!

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