Late last week I visited the makeshift memorial dedicated to Delia Huerta Arrearan, a Los Angeles Department of Transportation crossing guard who was struck by a vehicle on September 16 while guiding a student through the crosswalk at Sunnyslope and Vanowen. Several hours later, Delia succumbed to her injuries. Thankfully, the student, also struck by the vehicle, was not seriously hurt.
Earlier this week I joined DOT officials and crossing guards at an event marking the installation of a new hybrid activated walk signal at the very crosswalk where the incident occurred. This is the first signal of its kind in the San Fernando Valley, and only the second in the entire city of Los Angeles. I am grateful to DOT for taking this step to improve safety at this busy and dangerous intersection.
Still, a new signal can only do so much, at this well-traveled intersection or any other. A driver who is texting, conducting an illegal cell phone conversation, or otherwise not paying attention poses a threat to pedestrians under any circumstances. We can keep Delia in our hearts by remembering to drive safely at all times.