Unless you walk a lot, you probably don’t realize how often pedestrians are at a disadvantage for getting around compared to drivers in cars. But the fact is, if you do walk, you’ll run into situations time after time after time where pedestrians must go out of their way when cars don’t. Each individual situation might not be horrible, but they add up to strongly tip the balance towards an inferior experience as a pedestrian.
One such place is at the intersection of Venice and Ocean Avenue in Venice. If you’re walking on the north side of South Venice Blvd, you have to make an additional two crossings in order to get to the public library that is just across the street. This is because there is no pedestrian crossing allowed on the northwest side of the intersection.
In addition, the lights don’t automatically turn to walk for pedestrians at a time when they could cross with traffic. Instead, walkers are forced to use the beg buttons to simply get a walk signal. This isn’t a case of crossings where the beg button is used to request a signal change so that the lights will change. It’s a case where pedestrians don’t get to cross by default.
It’s wrong. And it should change.