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Another Accident Waiting to Happen?

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2009, at 05:23PM
7th and Fig Ed Fuentes

Pedestrians and autos intersect as a DWP crew works on the intersection of 7th and Figueroa.

Last Wednesday's DASH accident has left Downtowners mindful of pedestrian safety, making this scene at 7th and Figueroa stick out as a potentially unsafe situation.

For most of the day, a Department of Water and Power truck blocked the crosswalk on the eastern edge of the intersection, preventing pedestrians from seeing the traffic signals across the street. Walkers guessed on when to cross and drivers had to be extra attentive to those popping out from behind the truck.

Oncoming cars making a right hand turn to 7th, or passing through the intersection, can't see pedestrians. Pedestrians can't see the light, or cars unless they are right on top of the east bound lane.

Even with stoic caution, there is the potential for something unfortunate to happen.

It's understandable why the truck was where it was -- utility crews use their vehicles to shield themselves from an errant vehicle -- but the danger for walkers is a situation that needs attention.

Perhaps the presence of a traffic officer was in order, helping to guide pedestrians and autos on when they are safe to cross.

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