This complicated story shows the importance of recognizing when a roadway has become dangerous for pedestrians and the need for people to step in and make the changes needed to keep the roads safe without overstepping. The news has discussed this case in which Manhattan Beach has been considering legal action against the LA Department of Transportation over its actions after the death of several pedestrians.
The teen who started the discussion on the dangers of the area was killed when she was hit by a car in 2015. She had been crossing at an unmarked crosswalk with zero lighting, according to the family’s lawsuit. A taxi hit her and threw her around 150 feet. The family settled the lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles for $9.5 million.
The same attorneys who worked with the family are suing the city again now for the death of a man in 2016. He and his girlfriend were hit when crossing Vista del Mar, the same location where the teen girl was struck. They were hit where a marked crosswalk used to exist but is now no longer present due to changes in the roadway’s design.
Safe Streets for Playa Del Rey is a project that was started in August 2015 based on a questionnaire sent out by an LA City Council member. As a result of it, around 24,000 commuters have been disrupted by changes in the travel lanes through the area.
With this same situation, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation took time to reconfigure the roadways, but now people in Manhattan Beach, where Playa del Rey is located, are frustrated, saying the changes have diverted traffic from the area instead of addressing the issues with pedestrian endangerment. The South Bay cities are seeking legal help as they wish to comment on suggested alternative routes and road reconfigurations that would help keep traffic in the area while also reducing the number of pedestrian injuries or deaths.
Whenever a pedestrian life is lost, it’s important for families to have good representation. Money won’t bring back someone who has passed away, but it can go a distance in paying off medical bills and other expenses.
Source: The Beach Reporter, “Manhattan Beach mulls legal action against LA Department of Transportation,” Timothy J. Burger, June 21, 2017