City makes road safety fixes after tragic accident

Posted at 6:50 AM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 09:50:55-04

A family who lost their baby daughter when crossing a partially blind corner in Point Loma is getting a $12.5 million settlement check from the city. 

John Aavang was pushing his daughter Juniper across Canon Street at Catalina Boulevard in March 2015, when an SUV crashed into them, killing Juniper and severely injuring John.

The intersection was filled with dangers, including a palm tree that was partially blocking a crosswalk sign, and even hid people crossing from view until a driver got close enough. Neighbors at the time said they'd been complaining for years. 

The San Diego City Council approved the $12.5 million settlement Tuesday. But before that, made numerous changes to improve safety, including:

  • Adding a traffic light for pedestrians
  • Clearing out the vegetation
  • Installing a limit line 50 feet form the crosswalk.
  • Devoting only one lane to a turn across that intersection
  • Adding signage
  • Narrowing lanes

One man who crossed the intersection said he felt it was now safe enough. But Nicole Burgess, a bike advocate, says more could be done.

"Could there be other opportunities for better street design, where we incorporate better safe features, traffic calming devices, maybe even a possible mini roundabout traffic circle," she said. 

The settled lawsuit claimed the city allowed the dangerous conditions to persist at the intersection, leading to the accident.