JustWondering

City’s shocking crosswalk cover-up

I too have written about this specific intersection albeit after this fatal collision. The City's solution does little, if anything, to actually prevent future collisions and fatalities. However, it probably will absolve them of future liability. By installing a completely signal light controlled intersection *and* crosswalk the city has shifted liability from itself to the drivers and pedestrians who traverse it. They, the users, must use it corrrectly, or face the consequences and liability. However, the problem is really shared between intersection design itself ***and*** the behavior of humans, trained to expect a certain condition. The design, a fork in the road, alllows cars traveling N/B Catalina transition to N/B Cañon at speeds in excess of 35 MPH or 51.3 feet every second, through a curve in the road. The new signal light controlling the transition lane remains green 99.9% of the time, ***conditioning drivers to expect a green light.*** Furthermore the overhead portion of the light has a daytime camouflage of a eucalyptus tree background. Thus drivers trained to expect a green react accordingly. A pedestrian, who has a false sense of security, from a painted latter crosswalk and now a safe to cross signal, could easily be risking life and limb. I've personally witnessed several cars sail right through this light when its red. Just like it's not even there. A safer inprovement would have been to reconfigure the intersection ***just as the City did years ago*** at a nearly identical one nearly, Catalina and Chatsworth. The only real difference between the two: proximity to an elementary school. But Catalina and Cañon are proxiwwssmate to our neiborhood's only retail stores. A reconfiguration would slow down cars on that section of Cañon, where speed is, and has been an issue. The collision which occurred two years ago, on March 2, 2015, was tragic and preventable. Money will not bright back the lives lost. However, money and the will to change a poor design can a future incident. If the City Council's first responsibility is to the safety of its citizens and visitors they will revisit this issue. Our former council rep and current Mayor, must truthfully answer all questions regarding his knowledge and actions. This incident and the loss of life is tragic, but now we learn of the cover-up and or tactics to exclude damning evidence, statements or lack of appropriate action. When will our elected leaders and their bureaucratic subordinates learn that covering up makes the situation worse, in this case MUCH WORSE.
— March 1, 2017 10:44 a.m.

Police chief doesn't bite on traffic-stop study

Regarding the study itself, there are literally hundreds of variables involved with a law enforcement contact. Many can and do lead to searches, arrests, or in many cases nothing at all. These intrinsic variable are not captured in a traffic stop study and difficult for the most seasoned of officers to put intelligently and thoroughly into words. Some may call it a feeling, others a sixth sense. In ANY case an arrest, itself, is not proof of guilt let alone a conviction. That happens in a Court of Law where Constitutional safeguards are thoroughly exercised and administered by learned judges. Furthermore, before even getting to court, our criminal justice system dismisses many complaints because prosecutors determine the likelihood of a successful conviction. When it is TOO LOW for a cornucopia of reasons, cases end right there. Another reason is the politics of reelection for a sitting District Attorney. It affects every criminal case: if the conviction rate falls to low, the chances of reelection falls with it. And we all know the first duty of any politician is reelection. Finally our current "politically correct" environment is a distraction just like these inane studies. Chief Zimmerman, and the majority of the Council is correct to NOT react with haste. Sadly, law enforcement typically catches the less sophisticated criminals. Attempts to shackle officers further from doing there sworn duty only leads to more criminal behaviors and more crimes being perpetrated on citizens.
— February 28, 2017 9:19 a.m.

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