HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A popular Hollywood intersection — deemed dangerous by many — has gotten a safety upgrade.
The intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue — also a popular tourist destination — has gotten a new scrambled crosswalk.
CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen was there when the new safety measures were ushered in.
The Hollywood High School Marching band helped with a premiere of sorts along the world famous Walk of Fame.
The new scrambled crosswalk was a welcome sight to many. Echo Park resident Matthew Sharp and his two daughters were excited to see it, Nguyen reported.
“It’s great to improve safety,” Sharp said.
How does the crosswalk work exactly?
When the light turns green pedestrians have the option to cross either straight forward or diagonally. Now at the criss cross in the middle of the intersection, car traffic in all four directions has stopped.
“I thought it was fine. It’s a little faster,” said tourist Truly Gannon.
It is faster but when you cross diagonally you’re only waiting for one light instead of two.
City leaders say the real benefit is safety. The newly installed $50,000 cross walk will slow down traffic in an area where pedestrians have been hit by speeding cars in the past.
Driver Donald Pierre doesn’t believe everyone is going to like the change.
“Good for pedestrians, bad for drivers,” said Pierre.
Old Town Pasadena has two diagonal crosswalks and they’ve gotten mixed reviews.
Motorist Jaime Thorne says traffic in Hollywood is much more intense and she thinks drivers and pedestrians will become impatient.
“[There will be] a bunch of horns, a bunch of people yelling,” said Thorne.
“To slow down traffic for a little tiny bit to create that opportunity for us to have safe streets seems to me a far better strategy than trying to accelerate vehicle traffic,” Sharp said.
The city is waiting to see how well the new crosswalk works and whether it’s worth expanding it to other areas.
In the meantime, Nguyen observed that for some people going diagonally there was a bit of a learning curve.