South Pas resident Alan Ehrlich——was found not guilty Monday at L.A. Superior Court.
"The judge recognized my civic volunteerism and could not find any code section that might have been applicable, not even jaywalking," Ehrlich wrote in a letter to his friends and family Monday.
Ehrlich was originally fined $193 for vehicle code citation, 21956 (a) Pedestrian in Roadway, which he posted as bail when he pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in November.
While the traffic backed up due to unplanned down traffic light, SPPD said Ehrlich put himself and others in danger.
"Mr. Ehrlich was waving cars through posted stop signs and causing a very dangerous condition," " ... When signals are out and temporary signs are posted, we do not direct traffic."
Traffic Flow Management
Since cited, Ehrlich says he's met with various law enforcement and City staff including City managers, officers and staff at L.A. City Department of Transportation and the LAPD.
He's also appeared before both the South Pas City Council and Public Safety Commission (PSC) to push for a better City policy in regards to effective traffic flow management.
"The Public Safety Commission is coming up to speed on the issues outlined by Mr. Ehrlich, but we are not in a position to make any policy recommendations at present," said PSC Chair Charles Minning.
"We also feel that these issues should be jointly addressed by both the PSC and the Transportation Commission."
Implementing a Plan
One of Ehrlich's suggestions involves invoking a Mutual Aid Agreement with neighboring communities—like Alhambra and Pasadena—that have Traffic Control Officers (TCOs) on staff. (TCOs don't carry or use force service weapons but are specially trained to direct and expedite traffic.)
His vision also includes training and deputizing civilian volunteers. Yet Police Chief Joe Payne says that idea would put both the volunteers and motorists in danger—in addition to exposing the City to liability.
"We have had many discussions at the staff level. Some of [Ehrlich's] ideas have merit, while other do not," said Payne.
"The most promising initiative being implemented by public works is a back-up battery power source for critical signalized intersections. That plan is moving forward as funding allows," he continued.
Regardless, Ehrlich remains hopeful.
"The processes of government moves slowly, but I remain optimistic that eventually better polices and solutions can and will be put in place," he concluded in his letter to friends and family Monday afternoon.