The Times podcast: The push to decriminalize jaywalking

A sign points out a crosswalk on the street
In some neighborhoods, crosswalks are plentiful. In others, not so much.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Rules against jaywalking are rarely enforced, but in many places, when someone does get a ticket, it’s more likely than not a person of color — and the penalty is steep.

Jaywalking tickets disproportionately affect communities of color in California’s biggest cities. Critics say that’s because of systemic racism, and state lawmakers want to address the disparity. A bill awaiting the signature of Gov. Gavin Newsom, known as the Freedom to Walk act, would get rid of penalties for pedestrians who try to cross the street when it’s safe, even against a red light.


Today we talk to state Assemblymember Phil Ting, who introduced the bill. And walking advocate John Yi discusses moving from Point A to Point B with convenience and dignity.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: California Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and John Yi, executive director of Los Angeles Walks

More reading:

Editorial: Trying to cross the street shouldn’t be a crime

O.C. deputies argued over whether to stop Kurt Reinhold before fatally shooting him

2018 Op-Ed: Cars are running over people left and right. So why is LAPD targeting pedestrians and not drivers?

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producer Denise Guerra and producers Shannon Lin, Marina Peña, Melissa Kaplan and Ashlea Brown. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our editors are Lauren Raab and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.