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Crenshaw intersection gets traffic safety improvements after fatal hit-and-run

A new traffic signal has been activated at a formerly busy, dangerous intersection in the Crenshaw District.
March 13, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new traffic signal has been activated at a formerly busy, dangerous intersection in the Crenshaw District after a woman was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver. There have been hundreds of accidents in recent years at 48th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard.

"We have to make citizen safety a priority, today," said Jon Kirk Mukri, Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

Single mother Tiffani Balmore was killed on 48th Street in a fatal hit-and-run collision in the Crenshaw District six months ago.

Balmore's mother and daughter joined Los Angeles Department of Transportation engineers to activate the signals on Thursday.

"It has been a long, hard journey," said Myra Jones, Balmore's mother.

It was a journey for neighbors as well as the DOT.

In September, officials finally obtained federal highway safety improvement funds. A top priority was the entire 2-mile stretch on 48th Street between Normandie and Crenshaw, where there were 700 crashes over a nine-year period.

The upgrade process to install signals was already underway when Balmore was hit by a speeding SUV.

Neighbors say the tragedy followed so many close calls.

"It was like NASCAR central. People 60 miles an hour on this street. It was an accident waiting to happen every day," said one local resident.

Now 48th Street is narrowed from four lanes to two, with left-turn pockets and bike lanes, as well as the traffic signals.

"This has been a long battle to get this done, very expensive battle. It's closer to a million dollars than a half-a-million dollars," said L.A. City Councilman Bernard Parks.

That money goes a long way to safeguard hundreds of pedestrians. Crenshaw High School, with 1,200 students, is just half a block away. A church is on the corner. Neighbors say the attention is elevating awareness here about safety.

People can contact the LADOT about traffic hazards in their areas by visiting the LADOT service request page.


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