In response to recent accidents on Arroyo Drive, UCI senior Julien Goavec began a petition two weeks ago on change.org proposing street modifications to increase pedestrian safety.
“The goal of the petition is [to] one, raise awareness and two, implement change. And when I say change, implement change in people’s awareness but also in the street itself, where we physically add preventative measures to slow down traffic or pedestrians…” Goavec said.
After his personal involvement in a car accident while riding his bicycle on July 6, Goavec’s idea was amplified as he discovered the history of other accidents on the same street. One such accident led to student Mira Sanghera’s death in 2017.
“It’s been two years and the streets are still the same, and people are still getting hit, two in one month thus far that we know of, so I’m okay with creating a petition and raising awareness to cause change,” Goavec said.
In his petition, Goavec explains how on Arroyo Drive, “the speed limit there is 30 miles per hour but it’s such a long stretch of road with two stop signs so far apart that you can easily gain speeds of like 50 miles per hour,” putting the cyclists and pedestrians in the residential area at risk. His proposal suggests adding physical barriers such as crosswalks and speed bumps to deter speeding.
“I know a lot of students don’t want to walk a far distance to get to the crosswalk and so they might jaywalk,” he said.
Goavec also expressed hope that his petition will raise awareness both in regards to pedestrians being cautious, as well as drivers maintaining low speeds.
The most recent accident to occur on Arroyo Drive took place on Aug. 7, during which, according to a friend of Goavec’s, an incoming freshman was struck while riding her bicycle, causing her to suffer from headaches afterwards.
Goavec was hit on July 6 of this year when a vehicle cut him off to perform a U-turn while he was on his bicycle. Following the accident, Goavec experienced road rash as well as a torn ligament.
Fortunately, his petition has garnered support, even among ASUCI’s president, Randy Yan and internal vice president, Daniela Romero, who were expected to discuss the issue with UCI Transportation and Distribution Services on Aug. 21 in search of a solution.
“I would love for [the changes] to happen within this month or next, preferably before Plaza Verde opens up, [and] we see a lot more students…To be frank, it might happen again if nothing is done,” Goavec said.