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Traffic signal, crosswalks to be added at dangerous intersection

Reported by: Sandra Gonzalez
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Updated: 6/24/2014 6:45 am

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Construction is underway at the intersection of Blue Diamond and Cimarron in Mountain's Edge, where a traffic signal and crosswalks are being added following the tragic death of a teenager last fall.

"About time they're doing something to keep us safe from crossing," said pedestrian Anna Guajardo.

Guajardo crosses the dangerous street, very careful to avoid cars that come at her quickly, like a video game.

"Sometimes one side is faster than the other, so sometimes it feels like you have to take a chance and just run across hopefully not to get hit," Guarjardo said.

Last November, 14-year-old Helen Liu didn't make it across as she and some friends tried to cross. A fading memorial still stands at the corner in her honor. Girls at her school wanted to do something to help after Liu died. Kelsey Rowan came up with a plan.

"These streets were never safe. There would always be accidents, so I'm like: You know what? I'm going to start a petition. So I started a petition," Rowan said.

She received help from classmate Kelin Campbell to gather the signatures, which they say brought in more than 500 community members in support of a traffic signal and crosswalk.

"Then you had to ask the people, 'Will you sign my petition?' My friend was killed at the crosswalk, and they're like: 'I heard about that, and then they would sign the petition," Campbell said.

The Nevada Department of Transportation fast-tracked this project. State Senator Justin Jones lives near the deadly intersection.

"It's unfortunate that it took a death in order to get the attention it deserved, but at least we're trying to do the right thing so we don't have these circumstances again," Jones said.

He and other nearby residents say this stretch of road has been dangerous for years, resulting in other deaths and bad accidents. But Jones and Lui's classmates say she would appreciate what they're doing to keep others safe.

The traffic light and crosswalks are expected to be finished by the end of summer, making it situation and preventing future deaths.

Other crosswalk projects are also being constructed in the area.

Senator Jones says legislation is being introduced with harsher fines for those who speed through construction and school zones, which would also require cars to stop for pedestrians whether or not they are using a crosswalk.



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