The city of Los Angeles' ambitious program to reverse a rising trend of traffic deaths and eliminate road fatalities by 2025 is having unintended consequences in communities sensitive to increased traffic enforcement and mistrustful of street improvements seen as signs of gentrification.
Los Angeles embraced an international initiative to cut traffic fatalities started in Sweden called Vision Zero as it tries to grapple with traffic crash fatalities that have risen by 43 percent between 2015 and 2016. With an average 6.27 traffic deaths per 100,000 residents each year, L.A. has the highest traffic death rate of any major city in the country. Last year, 260 people died in L.A. street crashes, about 30 fewer than died in homicides in the city in 2016.
Erick Huerta, a member of Multicultural Communities For Mobility, a Boyle Heights organization that focuses on making LA communities more walkable, as well as more bike- and public transit-friendly. He tweets @ElRandomHero