Crosswalks aren’t enough in Kings Beach |

Crosswalks aren’t enough in Kings Beach

Crossing the street in Kings Beach shouldn’t mean risking serious injury or death. But, as a series of accidents and near misses over the last year have illustrated, it often does.

A mix of consistent speeding, spotty lighting, a four-lane highway and faint crosswalks threatens to injure or kill again in Kings Beach. Fortunately, a group of Kings Beach residents is doing something about the problem.

After petitions, neighborhood outcry and on Thursday a meeting of the highway safety minds in Kings Beach, it’s now up to state and local agencies to take action.

We applaud the North Tahoe Neighborhood Coalition for setting up the meeting to talk about ways to increase the safety of pedestrians in Kings Beach. Ideas like adding a California Highway Patrol motorcycle officer to catch speeders, lighting the crosswalks, or putting flags at crossings are great ideas that we believe would go a long way to keeping another tragic accident from occurring in Kings Beach.

We hope those ideas are acted upon.

No one should dispute the need for such safe guards. The danger to pedestrians in Kings Beach has been chronicled by a series of accidents in 2006. In January, Tahoma resident Linda Fernandez and her boyfriend Jeremy Virgo were thrown into the air by a Honda while walking in a crosswalk on Fox Street and Highway 28.

Fernandez died and Virgo was injured.

In July, two other pedestrians crossing near Bear Street were struck and injured by a passing vehicle. One was taken by helicopter from the scene with serious injuries while the other pedestrian was hospitalized.

In September, a Kings Beach teen was pinned to the ground under a car tire while trying to navigate the crosswalk on Highway 28.

We realize that the true solution to this dangerous situation likely lies within Kings Beach’s extensive plans to add sidewalks, perhaps narrow the highway to three lanes, and possibly add roundabouts.

Until then, we believe that Caltrans, California Highway Patrol and Placer County Sheriff’s “-along with the support of the community ” can band together to do their best to stop another senseless accident in Kings Beach.

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