Speeding Solution: Topless Docents

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This letter was addressed to Jim Beres, the police department’s civilian supervisor.

I consider the light crossings at Oak and Coast Highway, Laguna College of Art & Design and Laguna Canyon Road, Viejo and Coast Highway, a cruel joke for pedestrians trying to cross highways at these locations. People have told me about close calls and I witnessed many near-accidents at these locations. Last Sunday I had my own near miss at LCAD where I stopped for a pedestrian but the BMW driver behind me failed to stop. Had I not taken evasive action I would not be writing this letter today.


Rather than use an attention grabbing cross-walk light like a railroad crossing, these yellow Christmas lights were selected to coax pedestrians across the highway yet prevent any inconvenience to drivers of Porsche Cayennes. These lights are a poor committee compromise for stopping traffic at pedestrian crosswalks, let’s get some real crosswalks installed before somebody gets killed.


Caltrans could make simple improvements immediately to alert automobile drivers and improve safety:

Post highway speeds at these crosswalks for 25 mph not 35 and 45;

Post warning signage in bright orange to slow traffic; and

Install a pedestrian stencil at crosswalk to wake-up drivers.


Copenhagen uses topless traffic docents to get drivers attention, reduce vehicle speeds and improve pedestrian safety. Annual temperatures in Laguna are warm enough to use docents all year long.


Les Miklosy, chair, Complete Streets Task Force


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