By Ryan Gierach, West Hollywood, California
Late Saturday night a Wehon named Clint Bounds was struck and killed crossing Santa Monica Boulevard at Hancock.
The man, age 62, was beloved in the bar scene, making his “home,” according to friends, in Trunks, Eleven, Revolver and the like.
Initial reports had Mr. Bounds crossing in the crosswalk, but later eyewitness reports placed him as much as 100 feet to the east of it.
In the incident’s wake was left grief and anger. His friends posted dedications on local comment strings; crosswalk activists held protests.
Crosswalk safety became an issue in the city when multiple witnesses saw a 59 year old man crossing at Santa Monica Boulevard at Westmount struck by a car on June 28. He was injured, but not seriously.
Eighteen months ago, in late January, 2013, two men were struck by a bus as they maneuvered through a crosswalk at Palm Avenue. Both men died.
Council candidate Larry Block formed Cross Safe WeHo, a group of citizens organized to enhance crosswalk safety, in the wake of the latest pedestrian accident due to a wave of interest in pedestrian safety that has washed over the city.
He has complained that the commitment made by council earlier this year to buy flashing lights for certain intersections had not been fulfilled.
Mayor John D’Amico said in a statement after Mr. Bounds’ death, “The Council and the city staff are working on a citywide response to pedestrian safety at crosswalks at Santa Monica, Beverly and Sunset Boulevards.
“That doesn’t address what happened last night and as a city, we haven’t done enough yet, and we’re working to do more. As our city becomes a busier place, night and day, and more and more walkable we all have to participate in pedestrian safety. People need to demand more from the city and we need to do more.”
The protest that followed the day after saw as many as 50 people crossing and re-crossing the intersection, shouting slogans such as “unsafe,” “no more deaths.”
Since the non-fatal accident observed on June 29, civic activists have been pushing hard for a citywide review of its crossings, as well as mitigating measures to make them safe for pedestrians
On August 3, WeHo Sheriff’s Deputies did a check on how well cars and people navigated crosswalks.
Hey issued 40 tickets to drivers and 17 to pedestrians. Roughly have of those given to drivers were for inattentive driving, while the other half was for texting-calling on their cells.
Mayor D’Amico says that he is considering putting forward a reduced speed limit on the westside.