Every school day, usually twice a day, a group of parents and children who live in the cluster of homes and apartments just south of Lincoln Avenue say they are caught in a deathtrap.
The neighborhoods there aren't subjected to gang warfare, but residents say they are imperiled when they try to cross Knott Avenue at Danbrook Avenue to get to nearby schools.
Signs along the four-lane street label it as a school-crossing zone, which should cause drivers to cut their speed to 25 m.p.h.
But one look at the pavement, where a faded, yellow crosswalk lies riddled with skid marks, attests to neighbors' complaints that there have been too many close calls.
"How many times do we have to get almost killed?" asked Ruth Van Gilder, who is leading a small neighborhood group in urging the city to install a stoplight at the crosswalk.
Van Gilder pushes her 2-year-old son in a stroller as she walks her two girls across Knott Avenue to Danbrook Elementary School, located at the end of Danbrook Avenue. Likewise, seventh- and eighth-graders attending Orangeview Junior High School just west of Knott Avenue make the jaunt twice daily in the other direction.
Records kept by residents show an average of one car accident every 10 days at or near the intersection.
Paul Singer, traffic engineer for the city of Anaheim, which has won awards for traffic safety, put the pedestrian signal high on his department's priority list. Installing the $40,000 light, which would activate only when a pedestrian pushes the crossing button, has been moved to the top 10 on a list of about 70 signal projects.
Although Singer recognizes the immediacy of the situation, he says the neighbors need to be patient.
"The people should not get the idea that we are not concerned. We are very concerned," he said. But "you start taking things out of sequence . . . when you're ruled by who can speak the loudest."
In the meantime, larger school-crossing signs with flashing yellow lights will be installed as an interim solution within the next two weeks, Singer said.
And Anaheim Police Sgt. Richard Zschoche said officers will continue to watch the intersection and cite drivers who violate the rules. Police routinely check an area when residents have complained of traffic problems, but in the past week, they have given the Knott/Danbrook crossing extra attention, he said.