Readers React

Pedestrians need to follow the rules of the road too

To the editor: Downtown Los Angeles pedestrians who receive jaywalking tickets are not being penalized by L.A.'s car culture. ("For downtown L.A.'s pedestrians, citations send a 'don't walk' signal," April 11)

Of the many people who work in and visit downtown, very few of them live there. Some must use their cars to get there. It is extremely frustrating to have to wait to make a right-hand turn while the pedestrians straggle across the street and the last one doesn't reach the other side until the traffic signal has changed and cross traffic is moving. I have seen cars sit through several green lights before being able to make a right turn.

"All cross" intersections are very effective at remedying this problem, but until they are installed at downtown intersections, drivers and pedestrians alike have to learn to follow the rules so that everyone can move as efficiently as possible.

Scott DeYoung, West Hills

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To the editor: Texting or talking on the phone while driving is a lot more dangerous than a pedestrian who enters a crosswalk after the red hand starts flashing. Why is the ticket for using a cellphone while driving "only" $161 while a far less dangerous offense sets someone back $197?

Of course it's a lot easier to nab a scofflaw pedestrian (sort of like shooting fish in a barrel) than it is to catch someone who texts while driving. I wonder if that has anything to do with it.

Jay James, Pico Rivera

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To the editor: Ticketing pedestrians who jaywalk is not evidence of a bias against walkers in Los Angeles. It is a safety measure, plain and simple.

In New York, where pedestrians pay no attention to any traffic signals and drivers do not ever give pedestrians the right of way, pedestrian fatalities have been historically high. Visitors to Los Angeles from New York are amazed when they step into the street and cars stop for them.

We are civilized here. Cars will stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, and pedestrians will wait for the "walk" sign. Maybe someone will miss a bus across the street by waiting a few moments, but at least he will be alive to catch the next one.

Michael E. Mahler, Los Angeles

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