Is it better late than never ?
Myra Jones will never forget the call she got on September 30 2013, her daughter Tiffani, one of four children was hit and killed by a driver in a black truck that ran her over crossing 48th street and 11th Ave near Leimert Park, slowed briefly, then kept on going, never to be seen again.
It was the latest in a series of accidents there , that had led the community to plead for traffic lights for years. In fact, back in 2010, in response to those complaints the city Department of Transportation submitted a grant for federal dollars in order to remake the entire intersection and parts of 48th street going east. We're talking lights, turn lanes, bike lanes, new paving, a lot. Almost one million dollars.
It's near Crenshaw High, so it makes crossing the street for all those students a lot safer too. You wouldn't think getting a traffic light would be such a big deal, but if you think that you don't understand how the City works, how many hoops you have to jump through to prove there's a genuine need. To the city's credit, they did conduct the studies, which showed the accidents, the traffic volume, the pedestrian volume, and a variety of ‘‘warrants'' as they're called, which qualified the intersection for this project. I spoke to Ted Thomas, who's ‘' Park Mesa Heights Community Councils'' represent about 43,000 people, said the lesson is that you can make things happen in your community if you get the city involved, the neighborhood council involved, be patient and persistent. Yes, four years from start to finish. Too late for Tiffani but not the next person whose life might be saved because a driver finally had to stop at a newly installed red light. If you want action in your neighborhood, start with your City Council person, you can also go to www.myladot.lacity.org