Another pedestrian hit in crosswalk

NORTH GLENDALE — A 55-year-old woman was taken to a hospital Monday morning for a cut to her forehead and other injuries sustained when a mini-van hit her, carrying her more than 25 feet on its hood, officials said.

The woman, whose name wasn't immediately released Monday, was walking north on Brand Boulevard at 8:12 a.m. and entered the crosswalk where she was hit by a 60-year-old motorist headed east on Randolph Street, Glendale Police Sgt. Dennis Smith said.

After being hit, the woman was carried 25 to 30 feet on the car's hood before the motorist stopped, Smith said.

She suffered a cut on her forehead and complained of head pain and aches to her left leg and hip, Smith said. The woman, who was conscious, was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.

The motorist later told police that he didn't see her in the crosswalk because of the sun's glare, Smith said.

The collision was the fourth pedestrian-involved crash, including a fatality, in a week.

On Wednesday, Glendale resident Misak Ranjbar, 80, died after being struck while in a crosswalk at Columbus and California avenues. Police said 20-year-old motorist Ani Voskanian of Tujunga failed to yield at a stop sign and hit him, although an investigation into the collision is ongoing.

Glendale police say they have been working on decreasing the city's high number of pedestrian-involved collisions, which have notoriously ranked high.

In 2008, Glendale ranked second-worst out of 55 cities with populations ranging from 100,001 to 250,000, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.

There have been 56 pedestrian-involved collisions from January to August, down five from 61 during the same period last year, according to Police Department statistics.

"We are trying to make a difference," Smith said.

Glendale police recently received a $254,800 state grant to reduce the number of distracted drivers and boost pedestrian safety measures.

Officers conducted pedestrian enforcement operations last week in an effort to educate motorists on yielding to pedestrians, Smith said.

But he added that pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings.

"I can't tell you how many times someone has said to me, "I thought they saw me," when in reality they might have not,"' he said.

Smith advised pedestrians to wear light-colored clothing at night, and to use unmarked crosswalks with caution, such as making eye contact with drivers.

Pedestrian deaths made up 18% of all traffic fatalities statewide 2009, up from 16% in 2008, said Wendy Alfsen, executive director of California WALKS, a nonprofit organization that promotes urban walking and cycling.

While the number of pedestrian-involved fatalities has jumped, funding to improve pedestrian safety statewide has decreased due to budget constraints, she said.

Some cities, including Glendale, have taken a proactive approach to pedestrian safety by applying for grants to increase those resources, Alfsen said.

Still, she added: "Pedestrians have to be more reliant on themselves and less reliant on what the government can do for them."

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