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Race Not an Issue in Pedestrian Deaths

December 19, 1999

Re: "Absent Mayor Should Attend to Santa Ana's Pedestrian Crisis," column by Agustin Gurza, Dec. 4.

Gurza discussed the bad traffic conditions that have been causing pedestrian deaths in Santa Ana.

He pointed out that the victims are usually Latino. He did not mention the background of the guilty drivers. Why mention ethnicity at all?

Is there a relationship between a bad traffic condition and the ethnicity of the traffic victims?

C.L. COOPERMAN

Fountain Valley

*

I am sick and tired of the tirades of Agustin Gurza and others who write for The Times on the subject of pedestrian traffic fatalities in Santa Ana.

The obsession that such occurrences are due to white disregard of Mexican immigrant problems is spurious, racist and totally irrelevant.

The plain facts are that a high volume of pedestrian traffic and fast, dense, vehicular traffic is an inescapable recipe for pedestrian deaths regardless of ethnicity.

Either the two must be separated or one of them must be eliminated.

Laguna Beach, for example, has the densest-possible pedestrian traffic, particularly in the summer. It also has very dense traffic, which is constrained to move slowly and give absolute priority to pedestrians.

This results in traffic bottlenecks which simply have to be tolerated in the interest of avoiding fatalities. Is Santa Ana prepared to accept such traffic inhibitions?

I think not because the merchants and travelers would complain about the decreased business and inconvenience.

COLIN MARSHALL

San Juan Capistrano

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