With pedestrian traffic accidents increasing in Boyle Heights, the Union de Vecinos wants to make sure that the streets are safe for everyone. Community members staged a protest on Cesar Chavez Ave. and Forest holding up signs and chanting in rhythm for safer streets for pedestrians in Boyle Heights around 6 p.m. today. Elizabeth Blaney is one of those community members who want the cities Department of transportation to place traffic signals in two high traffic areas, Wabash and Fickett and on the corner where they were protesting. Some of the residents, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that they’re tired of having to worry if they’re kids will get home safely from school because drivers don’t adhere to the residential speed limit, which is 35 mph.
Their concerns for safer streets comes from the fact that residents have witnessed pedestrians being hit and run over by cars driving recklessly down the streets. There have been numerous accidents down Chavez recently and over the last couple of years as traffic in the historic neighborhood has increased. The union decided to take their message to the streets after getting nowhere with the city’s department of transportation. Numerous calls to their offices have been ignored and disregarded according to Blaney. Even though they understand that there is a long process when requesting something as expensive as a traffic light, the union wants to put pressure on the department of transportation to heed their calls and do something about the accidents.
As the demonstration continued and gained momentum from drivers honking in support, union members, in the heat of the moment walked in the middle of the road, halting traffic for a few minutes until police officers warned residents that if they don’t clear the streets, citations will be given. They complied with the officers and continued to chant and hold up their signs proudly. In the past, the union helped get a traffic signal on Chavez and Fickett after residents got a petition going and with the help of 14th District council member Jose Huizar, who is supporting the union in their current crusade, it made the streets a little safer. The union also has plans to get the city to install speed bumps in more residential areas to increase safety. The union is going to be holding another demonstration Tuesday March 17 at 1 p.m. at Wabash and Fickett. If you would like to help out the union and their crusade for safer streets by helping them get in contact with someone in the city or to raise some more hell, you can contact them at 346 S. Gless St., Los Angeles, CA 90033 (323)908-3454 firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ This is El Random Hero reporting live from Boyle Heights. “Print the news and raise hell.” ~ Jim Bellows