Youth Commentary: Time to make my commute to school safer

March 14, 2018 /

By Diana Cuevas            

Every day on my way to school in southeast Bakersfield, I fear for my life.

As soon as I get near the intersection of Jonah Street and Pacheco Road — about a block from Greenfield Jr. High — my heart starts pounding fast.

You see, there’s a big blind spot. The residents of the apartments to the west of Jonah Street  park their cars up and down the block, obstructing the view for drivers who are trying to enter or exit Jonah Street

Motorists traveling east on Pacheco Road have a hard time seeing the entrance of the Jonah Street, and those exiting Jonah Street can’t see oncoming traffic.

This intersection is not safe and something must be done about it now.

There’s been several  car accidents in this intersection. I can recall  about five of them. The most recent collision involved a 20-year-old woman, who was trying to exit the neighborhood from Jonah Street. . A couple inside a  brown van crashed into the driver’s side of the young woman’s car.

The explanation of why this occurred seems obvious — the woman couldn’t see any of the incoming vehicles, so she did what every other driver here does to see — she inched forward, until she was struck.

Such collisions could put pedestrians at risk, many of whom are children and families walking to or from school.

Will anyone ever put a stop to this problem in my community?

They could restrict parking along Pacheco Road during high-traffic hours before and after school, eliminating blind spots. Or make it illegal to make a left-hand turn out of Jonah Street onto Pacheco Road, which could reduce collisions.

Those simple changes could make it safer e for everyone in this community to walk or drive around Greenfield Jr. High.

Diana Cuevas, 14, is a student at Greenfield Middle School and a member of the Greenfield Walking Group and California Walks.