On May 22, a pedestrian was critically injured while crossing First Street in the crosswalk, with a green light. An SUV making a left turn failed to yield and nearly killed her. This is only the first of what could be many injured pedestrians due to the re-timing of the lights on First Street and the failure to enforce the traffic laws. Our city management has made a concerted effort to cater to the cut-throughs who exit the freeway and use First Street for their commute. The city has re-timed the lights to allow excessively long green lights for cut-throughs followed by approximately 15 seconds of green lights for pedestrians and cars trying to cross First Street. The summer concerts are about to begin and there will be thousands of people, including elders and children, who cannot cross in 15 seconds.
How many more need to be injured or killed before the city times the lights correctly? When will the officers be there to enforce the requirement to yield to the crosswalks and to stop speeding? I have asked officers why they do not ticket drivers moving at 35 mph in the 25 mph zone. The general response is that until the drivers get to 40 mph no ticket will be issued. Drivers need to exceed the posted limit by 60 percent before being ticketed. That would equate to 104 mph on the freeway before being ticketed. It is well past time for the laws to be enforced on First Street. People live here, children live here, our lives should not be at risk because current city management has decided that the cut-throughs are more important.