Traffic Lights – It’s A Dirty Job, But Somebody’s Gotta Do It

October 20, 2020

Good news for people living in my neighborhood!

The traffic light on Crescent Heights and Olympic has always been a bit of a Shabbat nightmare. There’s only a crosswalk on the west side of the street. There’s a right turn arrow in the lane going South. And the crosswalk never turns green unless someone presses the button, something a Shomer Shabbat person can’t do. So 9/10 times we and others end up needing to Jaywalk (or violate Shabbat) on that dangerous road.

So Boaz got to work months ago. I noticed a bunch of lights in the city were part of a COVID-friendly program where it notified you not to press the button (high-touch surface for germs) and they just turn green when you wait. So I reached out to my very helpful and friendly contact Jay Greenstein at Paul Koretz City Council’s office, and he looked into it but found it wasn’t eligible there. But then I heard from my friend David Spain about a Sabbath program where lights are on timer just on Shabbat and you don’t have to press the button, which he helped adjust on Pico and Crescent Heights. So I requested that and got many signatures on a petition from the neighborhood. But alas, Jay warned me that the adding a street to that program was on hold until after the pandemic, so that wasn’t an option for quite some time.

Well, I nudged a bit more this weekend, the timing was right, and Paul Koretz pushed hard for the pandemic timing on the light, and as of today, it’s changed!! No need to press the button, it’ll turn green each time for pedestrians.

And just to further clarify, when the pandemic ends and these COVID-friendly traffic signals end, their office will take my petition and start the process to see if they can put it on the Sabbatical-timing. That will take a while and there will be a gap, but I think it’ll work out. 

In the meantime, people in my area, stop jaywalking there or even bothering pressing the button, it’s taken care of, thanks to your friendly neighborhood Spi…Boaz and City Council. 🙂

Boaz Hepner grew up in LA in Pico/Robertson and now lives here with his wife and baby girl. Thus, the neighborhood is very important to him. He helped clean up the area by adding the dozens of trash cans that can still be seen from Roxbury to La Cienega. When he is not working as Registered Nurse in Santa Monica, he can be found with his wife and daughter enjoying his passions: his multitude of friends, movies, poker and traveling.

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.