Don Fuschetti was hit by a car and killed while INSIDE THE CROSSWALK on Sunday, Oct. 11, at 8:00 at night. This crosswalk is heavily used, poorly lighted, and is terribly unsafe. Don was a graduate of Lincoln Elementary and Corona del Mar High School in the 80's. He had a very large group of friends who loved him and are all shaken at this accident.
The crosswalk is located on Westcliff Drive, between Irvine and Dover.
We ask that the city of Newport Beach add flashing lights that are embedded into the asphalt at this crosswalk, just like exists a few blocks west on 17th Street, near Pierce Street Annex. This road has heavy car traffic, and lots of people crossing to go to the Irvine Co.'s Westcliff Shopping Center. It is risky to cross on foot, and if it had the flashing lights, our friend Don would probably be alive today. Newport Beach, please make this happen.
Dear City Council and Staff of the City of Newport Beach:
The crosswalk over Irvine Avenue at Rutland is very heavily travelled by pedestrians day and night, and is poorly lit. The recent death of Don Fuschetti, who was hit by a car and killed in this crosswalk a few weeks ago, was a terrible shock to hundreds of people who knew and loved him. The driver of the car was not drunk or otherwise impaired, and he was not distracted by a cell phone. It was dark, and he simply did not see Don, and Don did not see the car, believing, as most people do, that a crosswalk is a safe zone. The driver is a victim of this accident too, as is the distraught young girl who was in the car with him, who witnesses believed to be his granddaughter.
There have been deaths at this, and the crosswalk next door, at Buckingham, before. A lady was hit and killed just a couple of years ago there. These are completely avoidable. This is absolutely unacceptable in our sophisticated urban environment.
We ask the city to install on-demand yellow flashing lights embedded into he concrete that will operate when a pedestrian pushes the button. This system exists a few blocks down on the same street in front of Pierce Street Annex, and are helpful to pedestrians and drivers alike. Drivers appreciate the "heads up" they provide.
We know it is an expense, and we understand that the number of regulatory hoops increases parabolically as the scope of a project increases. So, all we are asking for is the asphalt lights and a push-button on each side. The location in front of Pierce Street Annex has cross-arms over the street with more flashing lights, but in order to make this project happen with certainty and at a more rapid pace, the cross-arms are not needed. Just the flashing lights in the asphalt will alert drivers and do the job. Had these lights been there, Don Fuschetti and the other lady would certainly be alive today.
This petition contains over 1,300 signers who feel strongly that this should be done. Many contain comments reinforcing their opinion.
We ask the city of Newport Beach to make this improvement as soon as possible.