Flashing pedestrian-activated lights are going up at a Goleta intersection where two months ago a woman was struck and killed while crossing the street with a stroller.
Installation of the pedestrian improvements at Cathedral Oaks Road and Santa Marguerita Drive began Monday, with DPM Construction crews tearing up pavement and ripping out curbs.
The project is a culmination of efforts from Goleta officials and community members to get solar-powered, pedestrian-activated Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons on Cathedral Oaks at that intersection — historically a concern among parents of students at nearby Goleta Valley Junior High.
The intersection was the unfortunate site of a fatal pedestrian-vs.-vehicle accident late last year.
On Nov. 11, an 18-year-old Goleta resident was driving westbound on Cathedral Oaks when the vehicle struck Shuguang Lui, 59, of Beijing, who had been pushing a stroller with a 20-month-old Goleta boy — a relative — across the street.
Lui was pronounced dead at the scene, and the toddler was critically injured, according to authorities.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department has refused to release the identity of the teenage driver.
Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said the Sheriff’s Major Accident Response Team was wrapping up its investigation last week, with the hope of forwarding the case to the District Attorney’s Office for review this week.
News of the flashing lights installation was welcome for members of the Goleta Valley Junior High community.
“We’re thrilled that the safety of the students and the community will be improved with having a light put in,” Principal Veronica Rogers said. “I’m real pleased that they’re going to follow up with that.”
Construction was expected to take about 15 working days and cause temporary delays when one lane in each direction is closed, according to city spokeswoman Valerie Kushnerov.
Besides the flashing beacons, the project will involve removing the dedicated turn lane from westbound Cathedral Oaks Road to northbound Santa Marguerita Avenue, adding curb extensions for the north leg of the intersection toward the center of Cathedral Oaks Road and creating a median pedestrian refuge area.
Construction is funded through a combination of Measure A Alternative Transportation Grants, Measure A local funds and Transportation Development Account funds.
“The City Council approved this project concept last March, and the city is looking forward to its completion,” Kushnerov said. ”We are grateful for the Measure A grant funding and the collaboration with Goleta Valley Junior High, which helped to bring this project to the place where we could construct these important improvements.”