A man steps into the street, but before he can make it across, he stops because a car making a left-hand turn nearly hits him. The pedestrian and driver exchange looks, finally acknowledging each other, and the man does cross the street.
This was observed on Sherman Way and Sepulveda Boulevard which, according to the nonprofit organization Crosstown LA — based on data compiled from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) — is the most dangerous intersection in Los Angeles.
This location recorded 47 collisions in 2019, the most of any other in the city. In fact, Van Nuys is the most dangerous area in Los Angeles, according to the report. Six of the 20 most dangerous intersections in the city are located in this region, recording 195 collisions in 2019.
Just a mile down the road, at Sepulveda and Burbank boulevards, there were 40 collisions last year. And at Sherman Way and Woodman Avenue, there were 34.
In all, 17 of these “dangerous” corners are located in the San Fernando Valley, spread along Lake Balboa, Northridge, Panorama City, Porter Ranch and West Hills.
Crashes and Fatalies
Sherman Way and Sepulveda Boulevard garnered first place on this infamous list for good reason.
Last Dec. 22, a LAPD cruiser and several cars were hit by a suspected drunk driver near the intersection. No officers were inside the vehicle at the moment of impact.
The driver was charged with a DUI.
Back on Aug. 6, a man was killed at the corner when he was hit by a car inside a pharmacy parking lot. Police said the victim, suspected to be a homeless man, was lying down in the parking lot and was run over.
Both the LAPD and the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council told Crosstown they are aware of the many collisions in the area.
So are the residents.
Feliciano and Heriberta Martinez said they were not surprised this area is considered “the most dangerous intersection” in the Valley, and Los Angeles.
“There are no crashes all the time, but very often,” said Feliciano. “It’s very difficult to cross.”
His wife agrees.
“Sometimes I’m going to cross and I turn back because the cars don’t stop,” Heriberta said.
She notes that it’s even worse with the big cars because, “They don’t see the pedestrian. You have to be trying to avoid them.”
Feliciano considers part of the problem being that these are two wide thoroughfares where cars drive very fast. “Sometimes they have the red light and they don’t stop,” he said.
But there are other factors contributing to the danger here at this location.
There are two gas stations on opposite corners, with driveways on both streets. There is also a pharmacy and a fast food restaurant, as well as several office and apartment buildings nearby, plus an assortment of other shops.
It is also one of the major cross sections for East-West and North-South bus routes, meaning people are crossing the street all the time — sometimes in a hurry — with cars swooping by as well.
“At lunch time, there are people crossing all over the place,” Heriberta said.
Gerson and his father Jose Torres concur. They recall cars that have crashed against two different bus benches at the intersection.
“There are too many cars, maybe what’s needed is more security,” said Gerson.
“Too many drunk drivers pass by here,” Jose said.
That’s why Feliciano never trusts cars when he’s going to cross. He tries to make sure drivers see him and, most importantly, “you have to hurry.”
For the complete report, visit https://bit.ly/2P0sycU