Watch the Frightening Plight of Pedestrians in 1938 LA

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The footage was compiled to underscore the efforts of a councilman hoping to drum up support to widen the street so that sidewalks could be installed and the “hazardous conditions” on the street could be eliminated. It’s true that flat dirt sections off the road are sometimes visible, but they aren’t continuous (and they also aren’t sidewalks), which is probably why kids chose the simple madness of walking in traffic instead.

In some frames, cars slow down by the students; in others, they don’t and end up pretty close to the kids. At one point, a title card comes onto the screen, saying what everyone’s already thinking: “How terrible it would be if one of these care-free children were to be struck down by a passing motorist! That child might be yours!” In the end, it would appear that the point was made: a Google Street View tour of the same stretch of San Pedro Street, between Manchester Avenue and Imperial Highway, now shows sidewalks flanking the road.

· Right of Way 4407 San Pedro Street 1938 [Youtube]

· See the Less Scary, More Pedestrian-Friendly Hollywood and Highland Intersection in Action [Curbed LA]

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