These pedestrian injury accidents occurred over the July 4 holiday period.
On July 2, a bicyclist fell while riding the Moulton Meadows unimproved connector trail at Top of the World and required air-rescue. This connector is the same trail the city has been considering for capital improvement for over two years. On July 4, a 17-year-old woman pedestrian was clipped by a drunk driver on Coast Highway. On July 6, a 23-year-old male pedestrian was seriously injured by a DUI driver on Coast Highway.
A city planning document titled “Laguna Beach Downtown Specific Plan” is 138 pages long and the word “pedestrian” appears 146 times. It is often anointed with the words “traffic” “access” and “crossing” yet the provisions for pedestrians are misleading and for cyclists altogether absent. Exhibit A in this document shows the plan is limited to streets north of Sleepy Hollow Lane and not Aliso or South Laguna where some of these accidents occurred.
Coast Highway is under the jurisdiction of Caltrans and moving traffic fast is their business. Until Laguna Beach adopts our portion of Coast Highway and reduces speed limits there, pedestrians will be at the mercy of Caltrans and the operational speeds they choose to move traffic on their freeway. Drunk drivers will always be with us. Some may be removed by local law enforcement and the Highway Partol, but enforcement is an expensive proposition paid by the city and state. Reducing the “operational speed” to a “livable speed” would give even driving drunks more reaction time for bike and pedestrian cross traffic.
Les Miklosy, chair of the Complete Streets Task Force,