Marveling at the Danger



One student fatality from crossing the street across from her college is tragic beyond belief.  This should never have happened.  (“Student’s Death Revives Safety Questions,” April 11.)

I was driving home on Laguna Canyon Road an hour before the accident. One car ahead stopped for pedestrians and the lights were flashing, but visibility was zero. I was marveling at how dangerous this was. People know to stop for flashing lights and for traffic signals. The problem here is the location of the school and cross walk. People are not stopping.  This is bodies vs moving vehicles. The road is too dangerous.  The only solution is to build a pedestrian overpass.

Not one student should ever die or be injured because we did not build a pedestrian overpass. No matter the cost. Put an elevator in it. Nina Fitzpatrick died.  levators are just not that expensive and should not be the sticking point for a completely safe and secure solution.  It is the only logical thing to do.

Please build it today.

Rachel Uchizono, Laguna Beach


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  1. The popular public reaction to prevent further accidents with pedestrians is to build more expensive automobile infrastructure: traffic signals, pedestrian overpasses, pedestrian tunnels, crosswalks and roundabouts. This approach used in the Canyon with the anticipated growth there will lead to unintended consequences, we will need bridges or lights placed every block: Anneliese Schools, the Live/Work facility, the Homeless Shelter, the Canyon Storage Facility, LCAD, Day Labor Center, Ganahl Lumber, maybe the Skate-Park.

    Readers should be mindful of why these solutions are popular and how we got here. Today Laguna is a freeway off-ramp. It is saturated by an auto-centric mobility plan but nationwide it wasn’t always that way.

    In the 1900’s pedestrians safety was held paramount to automobile convenience. “Juries in accident cases involving a motorist and a pedestrian almost invariably give the pedestrian the benefit of the doubt,” a safety expert explained in 1923. Since the ’20’s the motor vehicle industry perceived the threat to their livelyhood and manufactured a shift of blame from the driver to the pedestrian. Today we live the consequences of that shift, the pedestrain is injured or killed and the motorist is given a Bon-voyage.

    There is a better solution, give commuters an alternative to the automobile and build the infrastructure to safely use it. The infrastructure is far cheaper than overpasses and traffic signals. The more people using alternatives to the automobile, the more convenient travel by automobile will remain. Balance our mobility plan, adopt Complete Streets Policy.


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