City takes a step to protect Highland Park pedestrians*

New crosswalk in use at Avenue 50 and San Marcos | Courtesy Council District 1

Avenue 50 and San Marcos | Courtesy Council District 1

HIGHLAND PARK — A new stop sign and safety markings were dedicated on Thursday at the intersection where a 57-year-old woman was killed a few weeks ago by a hit-and-run driver.

The fatal collision at Avenue 50 and San Marcos Place near Aldama Elementary took place several months after the office of Councilman Gil Cedillo had submitted a request for safety improvements along Avenue 50 to deal with traffic safety hazards. Figures provided by council staff showed that 61 collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists had taken place around the school between 2003 and 2012, with 21 collisions along Avenue 50. Two of those previous collisions took place at the same intersection where Gloria Ortiz was run down by a driver who may have been using a mobile phone when he hit her on the evening of Sept. 14.  The driver remains at large.

“After the tragic death of Ms. Ortiz, I expedited the traffic safety improvements–enough is enough,” Cedillo said in a statement. “Our streets have been neglected for far too long and we are taking action to help prevent further tragedies from occurring in front of a school where children should feel safe.”

* Correction: A previous version of this story said the crosswalk was new. That’s wrong. The stop sign is new and the crosswalk was repainted.

Worker preps signage near new cross walk | Courtesy Council District 1

Worker preps signage near new cross walk | Courtesy Council District 1

View Fatal Hit-and-Run in a larger map


  1. All of a sudden Cedillo is a traffic crash data master and his staff have been working “for months” on this issue. No word yet on his “studies” of North Figueroa.

    This is a dead neighbor for stop sign exchange program. We now know the price of Cedillo’s involvement in our lives. If you can’t deliver a dead relative he doesn’t want to pay attention to your problems.

  2. Here is an image courtesy of someone on Twitter who saw Cedillo’s staff wash away chalk letters calling for a Figueroa For All before his majesty showed up to thank his staff and the LAUSD school board member for all their hard work getting a stop sign installed after a grandma got killed in front of her family:


  3. Correction: The stop sign was already there when Gloria Ortiz was mowed-down by the hit-and-run driver as she used it. Only the stop sign is new.

  4. That is not a new crosswalk- just new paint. In that very crosswalk, using that pre-existing crosswalk, is where Gloria Ortiz was killed by a distracted driver. New paint isn’t going to save anyone’s life.

  5. Should also be noted, that at yesterday’s stop sign unveiling, Cedillo himself failed to mention Gloria Ortiz in his speech, and the statement that acknowledges the death of Ms. Ortiz came from his Communications Director, Louis Reyes only after much criticism. While the stop sign is an appreciated improvement, it comes without any promise of increased traffic enforcement., or even the call to capture Ms. Ortiz’ killer, let alone offering a reward to help achieve it.

  6. How embarrassing that his comms team think it’s a good idea to send him out to install a new stop sign and street paint. You can’t throw away a well-researched citywide traffic plan that runs right through your district and then pose for an installation of one street sign. Are you kidding me? So now we have a photo op of Cedillo tossing a pebble into a rising tide of traffic fatalities in his districts. And it’s not just Fig, Walking around Chinatown is hazardous and similarly fatal for elderly pedestrians. When will Cedillo go away?! There is a growing intolerance for this small potatoes politicking while blocking real progress. Using your political capital to get illegal immigrant drivers some official IDs is entirely the wrong focus when residents in your own streets are dying daily due to poor street designs that cater to reckless, speeding drivers. Get a clue Cedillo. Your spinning and facile attempt to shift focus is just pathetic and increasingly deadly to your district.

  7. Its a improvement, the previous city council man ignored the issue completely, people who live on our street have been requesting a stop sign for years, Ed Reyes office refused to help, DOT and the time said traffic was not dense enough. It is very tragic that a life has to be lost for improvements to be made. But at least they did not continue to ignore the issue… The stop sign is much appreciate by residents who live on San Marcos & Eldred St.

  8. Why does it take a death of a pedestrian, before a city of Los Angeles, repaints a crosswalk or adds a stop sign or add lights to a crosswalk or traffic light?

  9. What needs to happen is LAPD to start writing tickets at this stop sign/crosswalk. Even set up one of those operations where somebody walks across the crosswalk and ticket any cars that doesn’t stop/give the right of way.

    • They also need to ticket bicycle riders who ignore stop signs and traffic lights. I have seen this many, many times!

      • Perhaps, but it’s pretty rare that pedestrians are seriously injured in collisions with scofflaw cyclists (and deaths practically unheard of.)

        However, pedestrians getting mowed down by cars… we just call that Wednesday in Los Angeles.

  10. I like how the Cedillo team doesn’t want people to come to their press conferences…..

    – Felicia G. ‏@hippierunner Oct 9
    @gilcedillocd1 .@LouisReyes put his hand in front of me to block from taking photo but it came out, thought he was about to high5 my phone!

    – Felicia G. ‏@hippierunner Oct 9
    @HLP90042 @gilcedillocd1 @LouisReyes I said whoa, what are you doing? And he said I thought you were going to post something. It was odd!

    – Louis R. Reyes ‏@LouisReyes Oct 9
    @hippierunner @HLP90042 Because you said you weren’t doing anything, yet you sat there on the corner for 20 minutes to take a photo to post

    – Felicia G. ‏@hippierunner Oct 9
    @LouisReyes @HLP90042 U watched me for 20 min as I waited for ceremony to start!? & walked over to intimidate me? Doesn’t make me feel safe.

  11. Glad they are installing another stop sign.. Sorry it took the death of someone to get this done. One concern I have is the people who cross Ave 50 in non crosswalk areas, At night I have had people wearing dark clothes cross in front me and I always worry about hitting someone I can’t see.

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