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Newport to install stop signs at 4 streets, including where 8-year-old bicyclist was killed by trash truck

Kent Barkouras and his daughter Sara pause in May at a makeshift memorial at 15th Street and Michael Place in Newport Beach, where 8-year-old Brock McCann was struck and killed by a trash truck. The city plans to put a stop sign on Michael Place at the intersection.  
(File photo | Daily Pilot)

In an effort to improve safety along 15th Street in the wake of the death of an 8-year-old bicyclist, the Newport Beach City Council signed off Tuesday on installing four new stop signs between Newport Heights Elementary School and Newport Harbor High School.

Council members voted unanimously without discussion to place stop signs on four cul-de-sacs — Gary Place, Powell Place, Aldean Place and Michael Place — at their intersections with 15th Street.

City staff is working with residents of Donald Place, a private road between Gary and Powell, for permission to install a stop sign on that road.

A map shows four cul-de-sacs off 15th Street in Newport Beach where stop signs are planned. The streets are Michael, Aldean, Powell and Gary places.
(Courtesy city of Newport Beach)

The council’s decision came less than three months after 8-year-old Brock McCann was hit and killed by a trash truck at 15th Street and Michael Place while riding his bike home from Newport Heights Elementary on May 25. The scene is a block from Newport Harbor High.

The tragedy left the community in mourning, and city officials vowed to place a renewed focus on safety near Newport Heights schools and asked city staff to identify ways the city could improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Investigators determined that the trash truck, operated by city contractor CR&R Environmental Services, was turning onto 15th Street from Michael Place at the time of the accident.

City Public Works Director Dave Webb said he hopes the stop signs will encourage people to pause and look before turning onto 15th Street from the cul-de-sacs, which can become chaotic most afternoons with the combination of vehicle traffic and children walking or biking home.

“Drivers already have to yield in that area, but the signs reinforce that we’d like drivers to stop and be more cautious,” Webb said.

The four stop signs, which could be installed in coming weeks, are expected to cost about $500 each.

Webb said there could be more enhancements in the future.

“We’ve talked about looking at bike lanes and ways to improve visibility along those streets as well,” Webb said.

hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN


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