Thursday, September 29, 2005

New traffic light on Santa Monica

I joined officials and employees from the Department of Transportation and members of the Santa Monica/Western Residents Association to flick the switch on a new safety feature for Santa Monica Boulevard. I worked with the residents group, including Patrick Agerkop (shown here) to get this new traffic light installed at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Bronson Avenue. We switched it on in a brief ceremony today.

The intersection is very near to where Seily Rodriguez, a 3rd-grader on her way to school at Santa Monica Community Charter School, was hit by a car and killed while crossing the street. (Studies by the Department of Transportation showed that placement at Bronson would be more effective in preventing accidents than placing it at Van Ness, the site of the accident.) The need for traffic calming on this stretch of Santa Monica had been evident for a long time, but the bureaucratic tangle caused by CalTrans' authority over State Highway 2 slowed progress on the street. Legislation that clarified the street's authority was passed just weeks before the accident, too late, tragically, for the necessary changes to have been made. I was able to work with Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg to spur CalTrans not only into acting but, additionally, into paying for half of the cost of the street light. Whether you're driving that way or just crossing the street, be safe.