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Real crosswalks need to be installed

This letter was addressed to Jim Beres, civilian supervisor of the Laguna Beach Police Department:

I consider the light crossings at Oak Street and Coast Highway; Laguna College of Art & Design and Laguna Canyon Road; and Viejo Street and Coast Highway (or near there) a cruel joke for pedestrians trying to cross the highway at these locations.

People have told me about close calls, and I witnessed many near-accidents at these locations. Last Sunday, I had my own near miss at LCAD where I stopped for a pedestrian, but the BMW driver behind me failed to stop. Had I not taken evasive action I would not be writing this letter today.

Rather than use an attention-grabbing crosswalk light like a railroad crossing, these yellow Christmas lights were selected to coax pedestrians across the highway yet prevent any inconvenience to drivers of Porsche Cayennes. These lights are a poor committee compromise for stopping traffic at pedestrian crosswalks. Let's get some real crosswalks installed before somebody gets killed.

Caltrans could make simple improvements immediately to alert automobile drivers and improve safety:

•Post highway speeds at these crosswalks for 25 mph, not 35 and 45;

•Post warning signage in bright orange to slow traffic;

•Install a pedestrian stencil at crosswalk to wake up drivers.

Copenhagen uses topless traffic docents to get drivers' attention, reduce vehicle speeds and improve pedestrian safety. Annual temperatures in Laguna are warm enough to use docents all year long.

Les Miklosy

Laguna Beach

The writer is the chairman for Complete Streets Task Force.

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That World Series game was for you

Laguna Beach writer Arnold Hano is a true baseball fan. I think it's safe to say he grew up in the old Polo Grounds. His biographies of some of the game's greatest players are treasured by those of us lucky enough to know and admire him. With these thoughts in mind, I offer up my own ode to America's pastime.

To our grandparents who listened to Lou Gehrig's tearful goodbye, last Thursday night's World Series game was for you.

To our parents who remember Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, last Thursday night's World Series game was for you.

To the next Willie Mays who dreams of making "The Catch" in center field, last Thursday night's World Series game was for you.

To every Little League coach who's told his team, "It ain't over 'til it's over," last Thursday night's World Series game was for you.

To every fan who's waved a "You gotta believe" sign at the ballpark, last Thursday night's World Series game was for you.

To every American who refuses to give up, even in this terrible economy, last Thursday night's World Series game was for you.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach