EPA intersection safety questioned

Intersection where 6-year-old Sioreli Torres Zamora was hit by a car
September 29, 2011 6:49:29 PM PDT
There are new questions about the safety of an intersection where a 6-year-old girl was killed on the way to school. The driver of a BMW struck the girl in a crosswalk at Bay Road at Gloria Way in East Palo Alto Wednesday morning. Now we're learning another child was injured in that same intersection earlier this year.

The memorial near the intersection has had a constant stream of people coming buy to drop off things and pay their respects. The East Palo Alto police chief says the same intersection has been the site of two other accidents this year. One involved and adult on a bicycle, but the other involved a little boy hit in the crosswalk on his way to school.

The intersection of Bay Road and Gloria Avenue has a dangerous history. A driver struck and killed 6-year-old Sioreli Torres Zamora Wednesday morning. She was in the crosswalk and her mother was just feet behind her.

"Few months ago, this one boy in the same place here, the same problem," said Ignanio Rivera, a family friend.

Police confirm a 9-year-old boy was hit in the same intersection on April 5 while walking to Cesar Chavez School. He suffered serious bone fractures to his leg. The school district says it never received a report on that incident.

The death of Sioreli and the earlier accident have the city aggressively gathering information and looking into possible improvements.

"We are every concerned and some money that could mobilize in that direction. Again, we want to get all the facts straight and then from there move on with some sort of implementation plan that keeps our kids safe," said East Palo Alto Mayor Carlos Romero.

Two blocks from where the child was hit, directly in front of the school site on Bay Road, there is a crosswalk with pedestrian warning lights. Some people say that could be one solution for the intersection at Gloria Avenue.

"I think the flashers will help a lot. They definitely should have the flashers because you see the flashers and you know it's time to stop, you know, slow down, stop," said Carol Howard, a resident from East Palo Alto.

The school district says the idea is parents and children should be walking on the side of the street where they live and walk all the way down in front of the school site, which has the crosswalk with more safety features. Regardless, Romero says the city will take up this topic at its council meeting on Tuesday, get some staff input about the safety of the intersection, and then go from there. This is now a safety issue getting critical attention.


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