Jaywalking, Cinnamon, and Ruins: What's Ruining Our Cities This WeekS

Walkers are making L.A. unsafe for cars, a ban on a crucial spice won't be very nice for Denmark, and tourists flocking to Detroit's urban ruins are ruining Detroit even more. It's our final look at What's Ruining Our Cities this year!

Jaywalking is ruining Los Angeles

Police have mounted a jaywalking sting in downtown L.A. to keep the city's dangerous walkers in check. The crackdown targets renegade pedestrians who start crossing the street after the signal countdown begins, putting drivers at risk—especially the ones who planned to drive into the crosswalk right at that moment. According to the LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, this is a busy time of year for cars and the city would have less traffic if walkers would just get out of the way: "A lot of that traffic can be impeded by pedestrians who are not following the rules in crosswalks." The jaywalking tickets are $197, about double what you'd get for a parking ticket. Hopefully that'll show 'em to drive next time instead. [New York Times]

A cinnamon ban could ruin Scandinavia

If you live in Sweden, it's time to start hoarding your cinnamon sticks. A new EU restriction will limit the amount of cinnamon in foods in the hopes of preventing people's exposure to coumarin, a naturally occurring toxic chemical found in cassia, the most commonly used cinnamon. Food manufacturers will not be allowed to add more than 15 milligrams of the spice per kilogram of their products, which has outraged Danish bakers because that's not enough cinnamon to make their most famous treat, the delicious Kanelsnegler pastry. "It's the end of the cinnamon roll as we know it," said Hardy Christensen, the head of the Danish Baker's Association. [The Telegraph]

Urban ruins are ruining Detroit

If you've watched with envy as the internet fills up with endless photo galleries of abandoned buildings in Detroit, perhaps now is your time to get in on the action: for the low, low price of only $45, you can buy a ticket and take locally-run "tours of abandoned factories, churches and schools." The urban ruins of the city have become the latest destination of note for "disaster tourists" who we've seen in places like New Orleans post-Katrina or New York City post-9/11. Here, though, you'll be able to get up close and personal with the victims: you'll likely encounter the families who are being evicted or forced to relocate elsewhere. [Gizmodo]

Sign at the Museum of Neon Art in L.A., photo by Thomas Hawk