Two pedestrians cross 4th Street at Obispo Avenue in an unmarked crosswalk on February 28, 2017. The city's public works department recently approved the construction of a traffic signal at the intersection after a pedestrian was fatally struck in October. Photo by Michaela Kwoka-Coleman.
A traffic signal will soon be added at the intersection of 4th Street and Obispo Avenue after multiple locals created a petition following the death of a 79-year-old Long Beach resident last October when he crossed the street on an unmarked crosswalk and was struck by a vehicle.
In an email sent out last Thursday afternoon, Second District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce gave thanks to the residents who reached out to her office, following the traffic accident that left John Solone fatally injured.
“The installation of a traffic light in this location will bring a strong layer of safety to pedestrians and everyone who uses our streets in this neighborhood,” Pearce said in the email. “We are proud of our Public Works department for all their hard work in keeping our residents and neighbors safe.”
Second District staff began reaching out to public works to conduct a field study at the intersection as soon as they started receiving constituent calls and before a petition—that eventually gained over 200 signatures—reached the office, according to Chief of Staff Christian Kropff.
Kropff said they received word from the public works office last Thursday morning, notifying the Second District office of the approval.
Based on the analysis, public works officials determined the need for the traffic signal was severe enough to prioritize resources, according to Kropff.
“While there are many intersections in the city that could benefit from adding traffic calling or control devices there isn't sufficient funding to address the needs to prioritize resources,” public works officials stated. “It is necessary to rank the severity of each request. The subject location ranked very high on the list and is funded for improvement.”
The design—which will include a traffic signal, new signage and crosswalk striping—is currently in progress and should be completed in the next 90 days, according to public works officials. Once completed, the project will go through bidding and a contract will be awarded. Construction is estimated to begin by the end of 2017.