Something crazy is happening in Hollywood. No, it’s not another Sharknado sequel.
Newly striped crosswalks have mysteriously appeared in busy intersections, and L.A. officials are baffled. Actually, they know it’s the handiwork of the Crosswalk Collective, an anonymous group of Angelenos who are determined to keep their streets safe.
They say that nobody walks in L.A. But, SoCal pedestrians die at four times the national average. So, these concerned neighbors appealed to L.A. officials for more crosswalks.
The Crosswalk Collective went through the right channels, but got ignored. So, they took matters into their own hands, and now they’re on a mission. “If the city won’t keep us safe, we will keep us safe.” Armed with buckets of white paint, the band of vigilantes installed crosswalks in dangerous intersections. They also launched a website where sympathizers can request more crosswalks and get a DIY stencil design.
Community support has been overwhelming, and that enthusiasm is spreading beyond Los Angeles. Meanwhile, city officials threaten to cover up the unauthorized crosswalks. Ahh, the irony. They could’ve used that same effort to paint crosswalks in the first place.
So, the battle lines are drawn. What’s next?
Here’s my take. I applaud disruptors who are driven by a greater good. People who know if you want to make an omelet, you’ve got to break some eggs. Think MLK, Bill Gates and Oprah.
That said, painting ad hoc crosswalks might confuse drivers and create more accidents. There’s got to be a better way. So, here’s a suggestion for L.A. officials:
Don’t turn this into a power struggle. Ditch your combative approach and show sincere concern for the people you serve. Rather than punish the Crosswalk Collective for giving a damn, enlist their help and invite them to be part of the planning process.
Give them a voice!