Orson Bean’s Venice road dying spurs pedestrian security concern

The death of Orson Bean, the 91-year-old veteran actor-comedian, has prompted an outpouring of grief within the Los Angeles theater neighborhood and in addition prompted new issues about pedestrian security in a metropolis that has struggled to cut back deaths.

Bean was killed when he was hit by two vehicles Friday night time whereas crossing Venice Boulevard on his method to see a play.

Here’s what we all know:

A frightening drawback

Bean’s death comes as new figures present that the variety of individuals killed in automobile crashes in Los Angeles stays stubbornly excessive. In 2019, 4 years after Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the Imaginative and prescient Zero initiative to get rid of site visitors deaths on metropolis streets, 244 individuals died in collisions in Los Angeles, together with 134 pedestrians and 19 cyclists.

Since Imaginative and prescient Zero was launched in 2015, the variety of pedestrians, car occupants, bicyclists and motorcyclists killed yearly in site visitors crashes has risen 33%. Fatalities surged in 2016 from 183 to 253, and have fallen three.6% since then.

Los Angeles has but to realize the primary main benchmark set out in Imaginative and prescient Zero: a 20% discount in deaths that officers had hoped to realize in 2017. Lowering deaths by half by 2020, the following objective on the town’s checklist, would require decreasing fatalities this yr by greater than 100.

A dying in Venice

Los Angeles police stated Bean was on Venice Boulevard close to the Pacific Resident Theater outdoors a marked crosswalk round 7:30 p.m. Friday when he was struck by a Honda Civic touring west. He was hit a second time by a Toyota Prius. Each drivers remained on the scene.

Judith Borne, publicist for the theater, stated Bean was on his method to meet his spouse, Alley Mills, who was volunteering as an usher, to look at a manufacturing of Arthur Miller’s play “All My Sons.” He had parked on the other aspect of the road and was crossing alone.

“Many people do that, together with the viewers,” Borne stated. “The crosswalk is out of the way in which. Many individuals … simply cross” the lanes.

Borne, who didn’t witness the incident however heard from others who have been on the scene, stated that after the primary car clipped Bean, he fell. Then a second automobile hit him and didn’t cease straight away. Bean was dragged for a couple of quarter of a block, she stated.

Marilyn Fox, the theater’s creative director, was outdoors when the crash occurred. She stated Saturday she noticed an “explosion” of particles and that Mills ran after a automobile. Somebody went inside to inform others that Bean had been struck. Friday night time’s efficiency, scheduled for eight p.m., was canceled.

“There was no approach we have been going to have a present at that second,” Fox stated.

A bigger motion

Pedestrians are concerned in a fraction of the site visitors crashes in Los Angeles, however symbolize a disproportionate variety of the victims. Over a five-year interval within the final decade, individuals on foot have been concerned in eight% of collisions however represented 44% of these killed, in response to metropolis knowledge.

The dying of a 4-year-old struck and killed by a driver whereas she was strolling to highschool together with her mom in Koreatown turned a rallying cry. The driving force, who made a left flip into the crosswalk, had her personal youngsters within the backseat, police stated.

The lady’s dying sparked an outcry amongst advocates, who staged a “die-in” at Los Angeles Metropolis Corridor to voice their frustrations with the town’s lack of progress on Imaginative and prescient Zero.

In response to essentially the most pedestrian dying numbers, the Transportation Division made extra adjustments to streets in L.A. in 2019 than within the prior two years mixed, spokeswoman Connie Llanos instructed The Instances earlier this month. These 1,529 modifications to crosswalks, site visitors indicators, intersections and different parts of the road are designed to enhance the security of the road.

Instances workers author Laura J. Nelson contributed to this report.