WEATHER »

Laguna-Micheltorena Danger


I’ve lived at the intersection of Laguna and Micheltorena streets, a two-way stop, for 28 years now. My neighbor downstairs describes Micheltorena as a “freeway.” Vehicles coming down it from the Riviera have the right-of-way, and woe be to those who venture out on Laguna trying to cross.

It’s a rare day I don’t hear the blast of a horn from some irate motorist letting a Laguna motorist know not to get in their way. The most scary times are when the horns are accompanied by the screeching of brakes. I wait for the crash of metal. These same impatient drivers don’t seem to realize how often children on bicycles ride down Laguna Street’s hill … wheee!

This afternoon it happened. I didn’t see it. I heard the squeal of brakes … then a sickening thud … then the screams of a child. What appeared from my vantage point above the intersection was that a young woman was driving up Micheltorena when two or more young boys on bicycles were riding down Laguna. I don’t know if the boys stopped at the stop sign. One of their bodies must have smashed into the windshield of the woman’s car. One of the bicycles was in pieces. Two boys were on the pavement. Both were taken away by ambulance.

Dear City of Santa Barbara: Will it take the death of a child to make this intersection a four-way stop?

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