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.”
- New Lincoln Heights traffic light a community effort. EGP News