Pacoima Square to be Dedicated Friday for Slain Saul Lopez

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In news that’s hard to classify as good, Councilmember Monica Rodriguez is dedicating the intersection of Glenoaks and Vaughn where teenager Saul Lopez was killed in his honor in November of 2016.

As Rodriguez was sworn into office last July, her first motion was to name the intersection after Saul.

As part of the press conference this Friday, they will also be introducing the recently installed safety improvements.

These include hi-vis continental sidewalk crossings, a left-turn signal at northbound Glenoaks Blvd., ‘Yield to Pedestrians’ signage, and Leading Pedestrian Intervals of 3 -7 seconds in all directions.

While I’m sure these improvements will be welcomed, there is still a lot of work to be done.

 

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A Google Map view of the fatal intersection.

 

Glenoaks, which even has bike lanes around this intersection, is still a very dangerous street with many drivers easily exceeding the 40 mph speed limit.

When we were placing the ghost bike, a number of people came up to us mentioning how unsafe this stretch is.

It was easy to figure with the information given us that the lead driver ran the light by at least four seconds.

In other words, a few bells and whistles around this intersection may not save as many lives as you think.

I don’t mean to put Rodriguez on the spot because this death didn’t happen on her watch and a large portion of Glenoaks leading up to this area is in the City of San Fernando.

But yes, Glenoaks is on the High Injury Network south of Vaughn which is LA City territory.

 

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Glenoaks & Vaughn is the northern tip of the peculiarly red Vision Zero HIN box.

 

Unfortunately, it hasn’t been the norm that someone improves an intersection after a tragedy like this, so give Rodriguez credit, but it would be nice if the city as a whole was proactive, not reactive.

If you can make it out this Friday, the dedication will take place at the intersection at 2:30pm.

I’m lucky a work commitment has taken the decision making process out of my hands, because I still have residual feelings of anger.

You can still parse out why from my previous article.

Everyday I see my daughter, I treat it like it could be the last.

Why do we have to live in this reality?