The Los Angeles Police Department is cracking down on jaywalkers, reports the New York Times. Police in recent weeks have issued dozens of tickets to workers, shoppers and tourists for illegally crossing the street in downtown Los Angeles. The fine is as much as $250. The crackdown is raising questions about whether the authorities are taking sides with the long-dominant automobile there at the very time when a pedestrian culture is taking off, fueled by the burst of new offices, condominiums, hotels and restaurants rising in downtown Los Angeles.
The police say they are simply trying to maintain order at a time when downtown Los Angeles, once a place of urban tumbleweeds and the homeless, is teeming with people competing for pavement with automobiles. Still, the enforcement has struck many of the pedestrians as more than a little one-sided and strikingly strict. The city’s Downtown News first reported the crackdown earlier this month. Last week, the Los Angeles Times called for “common sense” in the “over-the-line” enforcement.