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HUNTINGTON BEACH : Improvements Due at Problem Intersection

August 05, 1994|DEBRA CANO

The screeches and bangs of cars colliding at the intersection of Magnolia Street and Indianapolis Avenue have been all too frequent for Father Gus Krumm.

Last week alone, there were three car accidents in two days at the intersection near Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic Church. Two years ago, a priest from another local church was killed near the intersection as he pulled into Sts. Simon & Jude's parking lot.

This week, more than 50 people from the church congregation, in addition to local school district officials and residents, attended the City Council meeting to ask that something be done about the intersection.

"One of the major concerns is that someone is going to die out there," Krumm said. "Every day, hundreds of kids go through the intersection."

There are four schools in the area: the church's school, Edison High School, Issac L. Sowers Middle School and S.A. Moffett Elementary School.

Church member David Munce,17, who was involved in one of the accidents last week and was injured, told the council that his and "many other accidents could have been prevented. My first concern is the safety of all the people who use the corner to cross."

City officials have agreed to install left-turn lanes in both directions on Indianapolis Avenue by Sept. 30.

Later this month, as council members comb through the proposed budget for next fiscal year, they will consider spending about $60,000 to install left-turn signals on both Magnolia Street and Indianapolis Avenue.

"This is a serious issue. Our children's lives are an issue here," said Connie Greyshock,a church member whose children attend the local schools. "I would have liked to have seen a commitment to have the left-turn arrows before school starts."

Councilman Jim Silva said he plans to make the signals a top priority.

"It will save lives in the future," he said.

City traffic engineer James D. Otterson said 23 intersections in the city that need left-turn signals have been identified.

Office Mike Corcoran, police spokesman, said that from August, 1992, through July 30, there were 29 accidents at the Indianapolis-Magnolia intersection. Twenty-six people were injured in those accidents.

Ten of those accidents involved drivers making left turns and failing to yield to oncoming cars, Corcoran said. In others, citations were given for running red lights and speeding.

Corcoran said the number of accidents is "certainly higher than the norm. . . . It's a hazardous intersection."

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