Hyperion Bridge: Epic Fail

In a big loss for mobility advocates, City Council voted 11-0 yesterday for option 1 of the Hyperion Bridge retrofit, eliminating one sidewalk when the bridge reopens in 2018.

The decision elicits frustration and anger, something I cannot properly express. When something of significance happens in LA, I always turn to Streetsblog to see what Joe Linton has to say:

The crosswalk omission anticipates that people will walk up to half a mile out of their way to get to destinations. As occurs all over the world, it is predictable that pedestrians will ignore poor design, and will attempt to walk shorter routes. In this case, the city’s design will push pedestrians into the way of multiple lanes of oncoming traffic.


When the next pedestrian is killed on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, whom should we blame?


It is tempting to just blame a system that favors driving over walking but, in this case, I am going to name the names of people who had a chance to make this bridge safer, and failed to do so.

If you haven’t yet, you should read it and act on it.

I already wrote about my position before, so I won’t subject you to it unless you like clicking.

You should watch this well put together video by Sean Meredith which is so cogent, you wouldn’t think it was put together in hours:

One point I completely missed  was brought up by Dan Gutierrez concerning the danger having the wall right up against the downhill bike lane. Five to six feet may sound like a lot of space for a cyclist, but try holding your line while going downhill and avoiding all the debris that will certainly collect.

I’ll just briefly say we’re getting to the tipping point where publicly supporting vision zero policies versus the actual implementation shows a massive disconnect.

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Archive.
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Archive.

There’s no question that safety on the bridge has been compromised. It is not comforting that I’m viewed more as collateral damage rather than a human being. That its more important for a driver to reach the Atwater Village red lights faster, than a father, a disabled person or student to return safely to their families.

As a parent, maybe I’m looking through another set of goggles thinking that everyone out there is someone’s child. I would hate for anyone to experience that type of loss, especially one that has been thoroughly vetted as being unnecessary.