Keep an eye out for some new touchless crosswalk pushbuttons throughout the city of West Hollywood. The city’s Department of Public Works (PDW) is currently pilot-testing touchless pedestrian pushbuttons (as pictured above). It has installed these devices at some major cross streets.
The new touchless push buttons aim to help reduce the risk of exposure to contact viruses by decreasing potential cross-contamination from one of the most commonly used public devices: the crosswalk pushbutton. The new buttons give pedestrians the option to press the button to cross the street, or they can wave at the button to activate the cross signal without touching it. They tend to work at five inches apart.
Touchless Crosswalk Pushbuttons are currently at the following intersections in West Hollywood:
- Sunset Boulevard and Kings Road
- Sunset Boulevard at the intersection of Horn Avenue and Holloway Drive
- Santa Monica Boulevard and Westmount Drive
The City of West Hollywood’s Department of Public Works is also looking at two additional potential location for the pilot:
- Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard
- Melrose Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard.
At the beginning of April, 2020, DPW modified the operation of many traffic signals and pedestrian crossings in West Hollywood so that pedestrians do not have to touch surfaces of pole-mounted buttons to trigger green-walk-modes. This was to help avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19 during the pandemic. The touchless crosswalks were synched with the Los Angeles.
Modifications were completed for crossings along the entire length of Santa Monica Boulevard and at key pedestrian-crossing locations on Beverly Boulevard, N. La Brea Avenue, Fountain Avenue, and Fairfax Avenue.
The city placed stickers instructing pedestrians not to press the buttons and wait for the Walk sign at the intersections that were programmed to be handsfree. With traffic increasing, the stickers have been removed from these crossing intersections. DPW says it is not making any adjustments at this point to the crosswalks and is looking at the new touchless crosswalk pushbuttons in order to ensure health and safety while providing for traffic flow in corridors for increase volumes of vehicular traffic once again.