Oct19Pico2webIf you've been to our Great Street in the last few weeks, you've probably noticed a big change - there's a new traffic light at Pico and Burnside! This intersection, located right by Holy Spirit Church and two elementary schools (Saturn and Holy Spirit), is a vital crossing for neighborhood families. The traffic light replaces a dangerous crosswalk with an outdated signal that few cars paid attention to.

Upgrading safety at this intersection has been one of our highest priorities for Destination: Pico. In our outreach, we constantly heard about how afraid people were to cross at Burnside to get to school, church, or work, or to visit the local businesses.

The Burnside signal is more like a crosswalk on steroids.

In response to the community's concerns, the city has designed the new traffic light to be extremely pedestrian-friendly:

  Pressing the pedestrian walk button makes the light change after a few seconds. This is a unique feature the city included especially for our community.

  Pedestrians get a several second head start, where the walk signal comes on before the light turns green, so pedestrians can start crossing first.

  Burnside will get purple curb extensions like the other intersections nearby.

  And if you've driven on Pico, you've probably noticed that the light stays green pretty much all the time, unless a pedestrian or car on Burnside needs to cross.

Oct19Pico1webSo you can think of the new traffic light as more of a crosswalk on steroids - it only turns red when people need to cross, and it gives them extra help when they do.

The other big safety upgrade coming soon is the new crosswalk at Masselin. It will have permanent (not painted) curb extensions landscaped with beautiful, drought tolerant, California-native plants. The crosswalk will have a pedestrian-activated signal that will give a red light to cars on Pico.

The new crosswalk comes with one big bummer: the big tree in the median on Pico by Masselin will have to be removed. The city tried to come up with a design that avoided this loss, but it was impossible. We are devastated about losing the tree, and we are currently working with the city on a plan to replace it with several others.

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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Dianne V. Lawrence
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