Last night was bittersweet for the monthly Downtown LA Art Walk (second Thursday of the month). It was a huge success in terms of how many people attended as it was considered possibly the most busy the event has ever been since its inception. Tens of thousands of people jammed the sidewalks on Spring St and even overflowing to an “usually-empty-at-night” Broadway that would give Times Square in New York a run for its money.
However, there was also a very bitter moment to all the joy as tragedy struck on the 400 block of Spring St. According to NBC LA news, a 2-month old infant and his mother was struck when “two vehicles collided, one veering off onto the sidewalk.” The infant boy was in critical condition and would likely not survive this horrible accident. Luckily, the mother is in stable condition.
Accidents occasionally happen in all pedestrian-oriented cities, including New York or San Francisco, but the unfortunate accident last night, along with the idea that the Downtown LA Art Walk is getting busier and busier, calls for the City of LA to seriously consider shutting Spring Street off to cars during the monthly event. As you can see from the video (above), the amount of people spilling onto the roadway shows a great demand for more space to roam.
In case anyone thought shutting off a street is “off limits or abnormal or impossible,” I implore you to take a look at Times Square (one of the busiest roadways in the country) now shut-off on the weekends to cars and given back to pedestrians, which I serendipitously encountered on my trip there recently.
Times Square, New York Shut Off on Weekends
Downtown LA Art Walk July 2011