Open Letter to Santa Barbara City Council:
It is time for our city to wake up and take care of our children. I am beyond frustrated with the lack of consideration occurring on our streets and by the city’s lack of response. It is time to protect our children and prevent another horriﬁc accident. What will it take for the city to act on West Valerio?
My son was hit by a car on Saturday. This was an avoidable occurrence. It was not an accident. This was a preventable situation. My son did everything we ever taught him about crossing the street. He stopped at the corner, he made eye contact with the driver, and he was waved across by the driver. However, the car behind was driven by a young lady driving selﬁshly and only thinking of her needs. She cut around the other car and completely crossed the other lane. She hit my son when he was already halfway across the street. I am a mother, and I am furious.
I have made repeated phone calls about the safety on my street. I have spoken to police ofﬁcers. I called the mayor’s ofﬁce. I have waved at crazy drivers to slow down. Our cars have been hit, our dog has been hit, and now my son has been hit. Enough. The lack of safety and consideration needs to be taken care of. Had my son been killed, would your response be immediate? I hold the city just as accountable as the woman driving. The responses my neighbors and I have received are inadequate, and nothing has been done.
Our street is used as a highway to get to the Mesa. It is not a highway. It is a residential neighborhood with three nearby schools. There are speed bumps which do nothing. We need stop signs. We need Calle Canon to be closed. It is the city’s job to protect the citizens. The children on West Valerio are waiting to be protected.
My neighbors are equally angry and want the city to do something about our street. There have been too many people killed on the streets in our city. I used to live off of Cathedral Oaks. It took an innocent woman’s death for the county to take action on that street. What will it take for the city to take action on West Valerio? The city can no longer wait for a death before it reacts.
My family has been emotionally and physically traumatized. My son’s dreams of ending his high school year track season at the top are over. He ran 60 miles last week in preparation for his season. His running season is now over. His brother witnessed the woman’s careless and senseless act; he witnessed his older brother ﬂying over the car and the hysteria that followed. The police and doctors said my son is lucky to be alive. I would say the city is also lucky that my son is alive. Next time will we all be so lucky?
I anxiously await your response and plan of action.