Derrick Bailey at the corner of Ortega and Milpas streets.

Paul Wellman

Derrick Bailey at the corner of Ortega and Milpas streets.

Intersections of Fact and Opinion

Milpas Area Residents Continue to Push for Stoplights

The push for increased pedestrian safety along Milpas Street — spurred most recently by the death of 15-year-old Sergio Romero last October — continued this week as traffic planners and neighborhood advisors made site visits to the two most troubled intersections: Milpas and Ortega and Milpas and Yanonali. Traffic engineer Derrick Bailey, as he has in the past, said the locations don’t meet state requirements for stoplights — a fact continually and fervently contested by area activists — but he presented a potpourri of other potential improvements, including pedestrian islands, lane re-striping, and flashing lights. As Bailey spoke, explaining pedestrians need to look for a 21-second gap between cars to safely cross — a tall order during most hours of the day — a woman made a mad dash across the street, hurrying even faster halfway through as cars failed to yield.

Bailey and his team will discuses the options at a joint meeting of the Transpor­tation and Circulation Committee and Neighborhood Advisory Council on Thursday to determine what suggestions to pitch to the city council. The driver who struck and killed Romero — 20-year-old Manuel Flores Jr. — was sentenced to one year in County Jail last week after pleading no contest to vehicular manslaughter. City police will carry out crosswalk enforcement stings at four undisclosed locations throughout the city this Thursday, March 22.

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