Here is the author’s opinion and analysis: I have lived four blocks from Congress Street and Grand Avenue on the west side of Tucson for over 10 years. When I first moved to this neighborhood, which we chose in part for its sidewalks and proximity to the city center and local businesses, I regularly crossed this intersection on foot and by bike.
I haven’t felt safe doing this for a while. Instead, I cross the intersection almost every day with my 5 year old strapped in a booster seat in the back of our minivan.
More and more, I see glittering shards of glass and broken wing pieces swept aside, a reminder that serious accidents are becoming more common at this relatively small residential intersection lined with homes and small businesses.
Last week I walked through Congress and Grande and noticed a small bunch of flowers stuck to a traffic pole. The next day I learned of the crash that claimed the life of 8-year-old Yarel Ruiz when a driver turned on the red light, accelerated and crashed into the passenger side of the car Yarel’s mother was driving. A man from Tucson has been arrested and charged.
As we buckle up our kids in our cars every day, none of us, including me, think enough about the very real possibility that this is the last trip we make with our kids.