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Wilshire Blvd. Accidents: A Look Back

On Monday, we published a report about yet another traffic-related incident on Wilshire Blvd. This time, two pedestrians using the crosswalk at the intersection of Wilshire and 16th were seriously injured after being struck by vehicle.

In the wake of that incident, Santa Monica Patch readers have since expressed renewed concern about Wilshire Blvd., where many accidents have occurred in recent months.

"I continue to be very discouraged by the lack of basic traffic law enforcement in both Los Angeles and Santa Monica," reader wrote. "If drivers knew their flagrant abuse of rules of the road would be penalized, there'd be a change in their driving behaviors."

Reader also chimed in, saying, "Traffic enforcement ought to install a belly mirror(s) or some type of sensor that flashes bright red in that particular situation. ... The crosswalk waiting zones on Wilshire is a good start."

Reader said he's seen police officers "run through intersections" while on their cell phones. Santa Monica Patch columnist posed the question: "How many more people need to be run over in this town before we get serious about enforcing pedestrian rights of way at crosswalks and taming automobile speeds where crossings exist?"

The Monday accident is one of many to have occurred on Wilshire Blvd. in recent memory. In late June, a recent UCLA graduate was killed after being hit by a taxi near (2400 block).

On Dec. 23, another crash happened at the intersection of Wilshire and 14th when a 66-year-old Santa Monica resident who was using the crosswalk was killed by a vehicle. That had been the city's since Dec. 15, 2009.

Another collision happened on the morning of Feb. 12, also on Wilshire, east of 20th. Twenty-three-year-old Anupam Sanyal, who was also a Santa Monica resident, died when his car slammed into a palm tree after a drag race.

Look above to see images from some of the accidents that have occurred on Wilshire Blvd. in recent months.

YesMan August 04, 2011 at 12:46 AM
Yea, any streets dangerous when you dRAG RACE on it
Zina Josephs August 04, 2011 at 03:50 PM
Perhaps the landscaping in the Wilshire Blvd. medians is obscuring the pedestrians' view of oncoming traffic, as well as obscuring the drivers' view of pedestrians. Those plantings should be trimmed back and kept short.
Alison Kendall August 04, 2011 at 05:25 PM
There does seem to be a pattern of drivers only focusing on "beating the lights" at the major crosswalks, and failing to pay attention to pedestrians at the intermediate cross streets. The landscaping may lull the pedestrians into feeling safe, and they cross without making eye contact with drivers.
john printy August 04, 2011 at 09:30 PM
I personaly think there needs to be a pedestrian tunnel built beneath, wilshire blvd so that these kinda accidents wont happen anymore, I think thats what should have been done in the first place, a pedestian tunnel, that crosses beneath, wilshire to the other side of the street, and I think thats what should be done all along wilshire, pedestian tunnels, that cross from one side of the street to the other......
Claudia Schafer August 05, 2011 at 02:18 AM
While the accident rate is somewhat increased by a tendency for some pedestrians to feel protected by crosswalks, the fact is that too many drivers are concerned with nothing other than getting where they want to be as quickly as possible. For years already, drivers see yellow lights as a signal to go as fast as possible, instead of the real purpose - slow down. Now they try to beat the pedestrians across crosswalks and even at stop signs! Wilshire is not the only problem area. Many drivers use the side streets such as Arizona, California, and Washington to beat the traffic on Wilshire. Just this morning I saw a driver speed up through a stop sign going southbound across Washington because she saw me step into the intersection, and God forbid - she'd actually have to come to a full stop. Any city wishing to promote walking and cycling as alternative means of transportation simply must find a way to enforce the rules of the road. We have Neighborhood Watch programs to help reduce crime. Maybe we need a similar program of volunteers to act as crossing guards and write down license plates of drivers who flagrantly violate road rules designed to make the streets safe for all citizens - not just those encased in two tons of steel.
john printy August 05, 2011 at 05:10 AM
Still I think as I was saying before how's about, pedestian walk ways built beneath wilshire, that cross from one side of the street to the other underneath wilshire, instead of having above ground, crosswalks, like for instance people could walk down a flight of stairs, to a pedestian walk,way, that gose from one side of wilshire to the other except going under ground, or even what about a pedestian, BRIGE that gose over wilshire, from one side of the street to the other, so please let me know what your thoughts are on my Idea's of a pedestian, BRIGE, over wilshire, or a pedestian walk way that gose beneath wilshire from one side of the street to the other, Id love to hear your thoughts......
Claudia Schafer August 05, 2011 at 05:50 AM
Unfotunately, in these times of high crime rates, a tunnel might turn into a dangerous place for criminals to lurk waiting for victims to come down. Like shooting fish in a barrel. Tunnels might also pose engineering issues because of the infrastructure that is already buried under those streets. Bridges - maybe - but costly. Could be a tough sell to the community when increased law enforcement might solve the problem with a mechanism we already have in place - Traffic tickets! Big fat expensive traffic tickets!!

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