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PD Editorial: Preventing the next crosswalk catastrophe

  • A large group of protestors walk to where Maria Ponce was struck and killed by a truck on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. 68-year-old Maria Ponce was hit at the intersection of South Cloverdale Boulevard and Healdsburg Avenue while trying to cross the street in a crosswalk. (Conner Jay/Press Democrat)

It takes more than money to make a crosswalk safe.

But that isn't justification for inaction, especially after multiple accidents have pinpointed a dangerous crossing.

This time — two words that speak volumes — the location is in Cloverdale, South Cloverdale Boulevard and Healdsburg Avenue, to be precise. Cloverdale police have counted five serious accidents involving pedestrians or cyclists in the same crosswalk this year. Make that <i>so far this year</i>.

The most recent came on Halloween, when two boys crossing the street were struck by a small pickup truck. The most serious was this summer, when Maria Ponce was hit by a car and killed.

Her family pressed the city to install more lights or other safety features.

"Don't put a price tag on someone's head," daughter Delia Ponce told the City Council at a meeting that drew more than 60 people in July. "Please address that, so no one else is taken from someone they love."

This week, more than 100 people jammed into City Hall with another message.

"You guys waited too long," said Pedro Andrade, whose brother suffered severe leg injuries on Halloween. His cousin was hurt, too.

In the days after Ponce's death, Cloverdale police cited a handful of drivers for failing to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. No doubt, officers will return.

This time, it appears the city will act.

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