CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Every day you can see people in Cathedral City bolting across Cathedral Canyon Drive on foot or bike, trying to dodge cars just to get to the other side of the road. Many of them are Cathedral City High School and Nellie Coffman Middle School students.
"I've seen a lot car accidents and pedestrians get hit, the street's really busy," said Daniela Rosas, of Cathedral City.
The nearest crosswalk is a mile away and vehicle speed has always been an issue, which is why the city installed a lighted crosswalk at Ortega Road and Cathedral Canyon, with help from a $7,000 grant from the National Safe Routes to School program.
"It's about time," said Rosas.
People can push the crosswalk button, wait for the lights to flash, look both ways and cross when it's safe. The lights flash from both directions, and yield to pedestrian signs can be seen 150 feet away from the crosswalk to alert drivers.
"Now it's going to be safer for the students to cross," said Cathedral City councilman Stan Henry. "Instead of trying to find ways to run in and out of traffic, they'll actually have an opportunity to hit the crosswalk, it will control the traffic, stop the traffic, so they can cross safely. We did that at Dinah Shore. It worked well."
Unfortunately not everyone stops. Drivers be aware, if you don't, you could face a hefty fine of more than $200, according to Cathedral City Police Department.
Rosas said the pedestrian warning lights are safer than none at all.
"We've been wanting to have a light or crosswalk. The fact that we have one, it's a good thing," said Rosas.