In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy exclaims as she’s walking through woods that scare her, “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” What do you think pedestrians, bicyclists and skateboarders in Long Beach might feel like shouting at motorists that scare them and continue to put us all at risk?
Would you hear: “Stop and slow down and watch out, oh my?” More likely, “Oh my God" would be part of the shout-out, especially if someone nearly caused an accident or caused a fatality.
Tomorrow, June 11, marks the one-year anniversary of the untimely death of a beloved Long Beach resident. Kate Rose Eichen, 37, lost her life when a motorist hit her on Shore Road.
As I stopped at the newly installed stop sign on the northwest corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Shore Road today, I couldn’t help but think that anniversaries are supposed to be special. But this one reminds us of that horrific day when Kate was taken from her loved ones. If you happen to see any of her family members this weekend, give them a kind gesture to help them continue to cope.
Every traffic accident reminds us how fragile and precious life is. But, unfortunately, our community has many residents and visitors who pay no attention to the rules of the road or simply ignore them.
Why ignore them? Some may view stop signs as an inconvenience. Others may think traffic lights are annoying and speed bumps damage their vehicles. Regardless of the reasons, I feel people are in too much of a rush and need to think about slowing down.
On that note, I am proposing that we seriously consider following a plan that is part of the United Kingdom: “Twenty is Plenty for Us.”
According to the information on their website, there is plenty to make a case for 20 mph speed limits. It will improve traffic safety. There will not be a need to impose speed bumps at this speed limit. Lowering the speed limit to 20 mph increases the average car journey time by just 40 seconds, and the gap between the vehicles shorten, which can lead to an improved traffic flow.
If our community can embrace the concept of 20 is Plenty in Long Beach, we would all have a better quality of life, reducing the noise level and at the same time encourage residents to shift to active modes of transport like walking or bicycling. We would all benefit from 20 mph by extending the life of all who live here, by reducing traffic accidents and tragedies.
Please look at this video and read the information regarding the New York City Department of Transportation plans to experiment with 20 mph zones. Pay particular attention to the end of the video, when the young boy is hit by the car and how the impact of a speeding car can be so dramatic and life threatening.
The City of Long Beach can impose the same plan and see the benefits in our community. Please join me.