The long road to create a safer Lincoln Heights intersection

Beatrice Gonzalez (right) helps celebrate new Lincoln Heights traffic signal at the intersection where daughter was hit by a drunk driver 20 years ago/Photo courtesy Council District 1

Beatriz Gonzales (left) stand next to her daughter, Cindy, while Councilman Ed Reyes speaks at Saturday’s dedication ceremony/Council District 1

Lincoln Heights residents last weekend celebrated the installation of a new traffic signal at North Broadway and Sichel Street,  a risky crossroads that has been the scene of numerous auto and pedestrian accidents over the years.  Cindy Gonzales, one of those who attended Saturday’s ceremony, knows first-hand how dangerous the intersection could be: she was left in a coma for nearly about two weeks after being hit by a drunk driver in the very same intersection nearly 20 years ago.

Cindy’s mother, Beatriz Gonzales, who joined her daughter at signal’s dedication, began working with Council District 1 about five years ago to finally have a traffic light installed at the intersection to improve safety.  Their initial effort, however, failed to convince the city’s Department of Transportation that a light was needed. That’s when Beatriz Gonzales helped gather 1,700  signatures in favor of adding a traffic light and presented the petition to the council office  in 2011.  Still, city engineers needed to conduct further traffic studies and money had to be secured to pay for  the traffic light, which cost about $250,000, said council district spokeswoman Monica Valencia.

Nearly two decades after her November 2013 accident,  Cindy Gonzales, her mother, Councilman Ed Reyes and the students from a nearby Sacred Heart School officially flipped the switch on the new traffic light.

“What this light means is safety for our community and all our kids … and for our seniors, Beatriz Gonzales said at the dedication ceremony. ” This is a beautiful day.”

Related Link:

  • New Lincoln Heights traffic light a community effort. EGP News

One comment

  1. It is worth remembering that this was once the fate of the crosswalk:

    When I called the LADOT at the time the woman I spoke to told me that (1) crosswalks like this were an attractive nuisance and resulted in more injuries, so removing it would make everyone safer and (2) doing anything to slow cars or mellow traffic overall would lead to unemployment and hurt the economy.


    It may cost $300,000+, and it may have been a political half measure type thing to do (as opposed to removing a lane and putting in a rapid bus lane or something (or a bike lane?) – but Reyes has created a lasting legacy in our community. The man slowly worked and worked on so many issues big and small and they have paid off. He isn’t a bombastic public speaker but his office did get a lot of stuff done. This crosswalk has made my daily walk commute to work safer.

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