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Los Angeles To Upgrade To Continental Crosswalks For Pedestrian Safety

LOS ANGELES ( — The city's crosswalks are about to receive a makeover with the intention of making them safer.

While the newer, bigger crosswalks are statistically safer than conventional crosswalks, which have just the two guide-lines on either side, they will cost about three times more to prepare.

LA Walks Founder Deborah Murphy described the importance of the upgrade, which includes a "limit line" for cars to stop with space to spare in front of the crosswalks.

"We're getting the continental crosswalk, along with what we sometimes call "stop bar", "limit line", it has a million different names," Murphy said. "As people feel more safe, they'll be out on the street, walking their kids to school, causing less traffic congestion."

Continental crosswalks are said to reduce pedestrian accidents by 25 percent when compared with conventional crosswalks.

Last year, Murphy, along with former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a project to test the system by upgraded 50 of the most dangerous intersections, including 7th Street and Alvarado Street, Hollywood Blvd and Highland Avenue, Slauson Avenue and Western Avenue, as well as others.

The city plans to upgrade 19,770 crosswalks across Los Angeles. The cost is of the project is said to be $50 million, the average equivalent to $10,000 per intersection.

The cost goes toward the cleaning, repaving, and application of the thermal plastic stripes of the crosswalks.

The funding for the project comes from the Measure-R fund's half-cent sales tax.

"Relatively, the cost is low relative to the impact of really affecting drivers' visibility to pedestrians," LADOT Pedestrian Coordinator Magot Ocanas told CBS2's Art Barron.

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