To slow the spread of coronavirus, jurisdictions across Los Angeles County have deactivated crosswalk push buttons in neighborhoods with high pedestrian traffic, enabling automatic walk signals. The temporary change, long-desired by street safety and mobility advocates, may be sticking around in the post COVID-19 world.
In a motion introduced last week, Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar requests a report from the Department of Transportation on the current effort to convert push-button crosswalk signals - often called "beg buttons" - to allow for automatic walks signals. The requested report would include information on where automatic walk signals have already been implemented, the effort to expand them citywide, and cleaning protocols for remaining push-button pedestrian signals.
Automatic crossings were initially implemented in Downtown, Hollywood, Westlake, and MacArthur Park, according to the motion. The Department of Transportation will also convert signals in Chinatown, Koreatown, East Hollywood, Little Armenia, Highland Park, the Miracle Mile, Pico-Union, University Park, South Los Angeles, Studio City, and Van Nuys.
Huizar's motion has been referred to the City Council's Transportation Committee for consideration.