Traffic Light Construction Begins at Deadly Intersection in North Hollywood

It's too bad that we often need to see this before we can see real pedestrian safety improvements. Photo:Daily News

The past week has been a dismal one for pedestrian safety issues.  One week ago, the K-Town Riders were probably peacefully planning out their ride, checking their tires, or otherwise going about their business with no idea the carnage that would be unleashed on them.  One week ago the fate of our city’s red light camera program was still uncertain.  But one week ago, one of the deadliest intersection in the city still didn’t have a traffic light.

Well, at least there’s some good news from the last seven days.

Over six months after Emely Aleman, 12, and Angela Rodriguez, 10, were crossing the street in a marked crosswalk when they were hit and tossed fifty feet in the air by a Jeep Cherokee.  Aleman passed away at the hospital, while Rodriguez is on the long road to recovery.  It was the third crash at the intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Archwood Street. in 2010, down from four crashes in 2009.

Yesterday, Councilman Paul Krekorian announced that construction of a traffic signal at that intersection has begun.  Krekorian and School Board Member Tamar Galatzan, who ran against Krekorian for the seat he now holds, teamed together with the community to create the political pressure to expediate the light’s installation.  A council resolution in Aleman’s name was passed by the City Council late last year urging LADOT to install this signal as quickly as possible.

The Council District 2 blog quotes Krekorian:

“Last fall, tragedy struck our community when Emely Aleman was fatally hit by a distracted driver as she crossed the street in a cross walk,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who represents the area. “That tragic accident occurred on a busy stretch on Laurel Canyon Boulevard that had long been in need of more safety measures. After the accident, I stood with Emely’s friends and family and promised that my office would work with LAUSD Board Member Tamar Galatzan to expedite installation of a streetlight at the intersection.”
Kudos to Krekorian and Galatzan for getting this signal up.  Time will tell if that signal is enough to protect pedestrians in this part of North Hollywood.