Highway West Valerio

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
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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.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

So many total pigs with driver's licenses it's just unbelievable. I hope they throw the book at the one who hit your on. I've seen drivers merrily run red lights laughing the whole time. The amount of stupidity and selfisness displayed on the roda does not fare well for society or culture off the road.
There's a lot of drivers who'd be pedestrians if I were a traffic cop.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 26, 2014 at 10:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

About 10 years ago I wrote a letter to the Sheriff's and Santa Barbara Police begging for something to be done about the aggressive speeders that become an epidemic and I got no response from the P.D. and the Sheriff's Department sent me an e-mail basically thanking me for my concern but telling me they really couldn't do much about the problem.

It is highly unusual to be driving the maximum speed limit and NOT have someone breathing down your neck frantic because you're in their way.

I guess the attitude of law enforcement is "why bother?".

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2014 at 1:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Agree with the letter's author! I've lived near W. Valerio for over 25 years and it's pretty much become as she describes: HIGHWAY TO THE MESA.
Easy solution, let's see Helene use government power to MANDATE closure of Calle Canon [this is the extension of W. Valerio going over the Mesa to Hendry's or Mesa Shopping Center]. Close Calle Canon to save kids. We could turn the path into a walking and child free-play area.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2014 at 6:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Every Local Politician worth their useless salt knows that the only way to change a dangerous intersection is with a high body count. The Higher the ratio of deaths, and even better if those deaths recorded are of young children, can get a public to pound the pavement for signatures, stand in front of a News Camera and utter those deadly words to Thousands if not Millions of Voting viewers, "It's an Election year, what is being done to correct this growing death toll"? I am glad your son is not dead or crippled for life but really all your going to get from a stagnate City Council or County Board member is "we'll table this until later (When the Body bags start filling up the Morgue). Action is on your part and or your neighbors, you all have to do what your Paid Politicians won't do, change laws or enact safety requirements to unsafe or down right deadly intersections. As for the woman who hit your Son? After the Traffic courts are finished with fining her, sue the driver and then get after your Local Government, cause nothing hurts a Public (Not) Servant, more than upsetting their cushy easy money receiving, job than a threat to that is money job.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2014 at 10:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Closing Calle Canon won't solve the problem. The problem is the drivers themselves, not the road.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2014 at 10:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Easy fix: charge any driver speeding more than 10 MPH past limit or lane violations on a city street $10,000, impound their car for 30 days at their cost and suspend their drivers' license for 6 months.

Everyone will become AMAZINGLY CONSIDERATE drivers.

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2014 at 12:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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