Letter to the Editor: Laguna is in a Crosswalk Crisis

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Have you had a close-call crossing at a crosswalk on Coast Highway in Laguna? On Sept. 20 at the City Council meeting, I testified that Laguna is in a crosswalk crisis. It was reported that the pedestrian crosswalk lights at Oak Street were working. After I left City Hall, I went to the Oak intersection to make sure they were working. They were not working!

When I arrived at Oak, I had to stop two young girls from continuing to walk across by yelling “get back!” as a car sped by, missing them by inches before they took that next step. I saved their lives. It was a miracle that I was at the right place at the right time.

We must find common ground to solve this deadly crosswalk crisis in Laguna Beach. Laguna needs safety emergency physical intervention now. I have a solution.

It is a “two-week temporary plan” for immediate intervention while a permanent solution is implemented. 1. Immediately use the white flag system for pedestrians. 2. Change the blinking lights from yellow to red. (Everyone knows yellow means proceed with caution, while red means stop. 3. Uniformed crossing monitors. 4. Increased police support by hiring more police, some earmarked for crosswalk protection. Laguna Police are very understaffed. 5. An All-School poster contest titled “Laguna is in a Crosswalk Crisis!” with awards. 6. A banner on Forest Avenue, “Laguna is in a Crosswalk Crisis!” 7. More safety ideas are welcome and encouraged.

All these steps can be implemented this week. The City needs to buy umbrella stand containers for opposite sides of the crosswalks.

We could start the poster contest. We could print a makeshift banner for Forest Avenue. Crossing monitors to make sure all cars are stopped. We can do it. We want to do it. So, let’s do it!

Beth Leeds, Laguna Beach

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