PROTECT THE “GOLDEN” FAMILY
BACKGROUND: What started out as a routine school day ended in a tragic accident. On Monday, January 24th, 2011, two cars collided in the intersection at Valencia and Golden Avenue around 2:30 p.m. One of the vehicles careened into a group of children who were waiting at the crosswalk on the Northeast corner of Valencia and Golden after having been safely walked across by the crossing guard. The subject vehicle struck two 12 year old boys, dragging one of those boys through a brick flower bed and pinning him under the vehicle, while injuring other children nearby. The evidence and the aftermath of the accident makes it clear that it was a miracle the boys escaped fatal injuries. Although physical injuries will heal, the long term physical and emotional effects on all of the children involved are unknown. We can all agree that the accident was a traumatic incident for our children and an accident that should have never happened. CONCERNS: This intersection is particularly busy from 7:00-8:00 a.m. and 2:00-3:00 p.m., when traffic spills through from multiple surrounding schools. Vehicles fly through this intersection at excessive speeds. Cars traveling straight ahead speed through the intersection to clear the light as quickly as possible, while cars turning left sit idle in the intersection waiting for oncoming traffic to clear, only to race through at the last minute on the yellow to red lights. This dangerous and very risky driver behavior is occurring while our children are still in the crosswalk getting to and from school. The so-called “crosswalk” is actually a “danger zone” with far too may close calls. The January 24th accident was obviously not a close call, because it did happen. PETITION: We, the undersigned, are residents, citizens and community members of the city of Placentia and/or are parents of children attending Golden Elementary School, a school in the Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District. We hereby petition the Placentia City Council (“Council”) and the Traffic Safety Commission (“Commission”) to hold a public meeting that includes the Placentia Mayor, Council, and Commission officials to discuss the Golden Elementary traffic issue. We further petition the Council and Commission to conduct a full review of all traffic flow related to Golden Elementary School and to take corrective action to reduce the current risks to pedestrians and drivers, including, but not limited to: (1) Installing left arrow turn lights at each street (North/South on Valencia and East/West on Golden) – 4 left arrow lights total. (2) Placing flashing stop lights at all school cross walks (on Valencia by Koch Park and in front of Golden Elementary) and syncing flashing lights with prime school start and release hours. (3) Keeping portable speed monitors with clear sign of 25 mph speed limit during school hours. While we understand that these variables cannot stop human error or neglect, these precautions will irrefutably alert drivers to slow down and pay attention. The increased awareness, in and by itself, will provoke driver prudence and dramatically reduce the risk of accidents. We support all new traffic safety measures established in an effort to protect the Golden family and to make our community a safer place for our children.