without a glance or thought of stopping. I made eye contact with the
foursome, smiled and waved them on, indicating that I would wait
while they crossed the street.
I noticed a Laguna Beach Police officer behind me, but I wasn't
concerned because I was doing the right thing -- wasn't I ? All of
the sudden, a speaker from the officer's patrol car stopped this
intersection in it's tracks. The people in the crosswalk stepped back
onto the curb with bewildered looks.
With the pedestrians back on the curb, I mouthed "Sorry" to them
and completed my turn. I do hope they finally made it safely across
the street. I know the officer did not stop for them, as he was in a
hurry to pull me over in front of the library.
As he approached my car, he asked what I thought I was doing,
holding up traffic like that. I explained that I have been an avid
walker and hiker in town for more than 30 years and always make an
effort to give pedestrians the right of way and certainly appreciated
it when someone stops for me. "I was just trying to be polite," I
said. His muttered response as he walked away from my car was
something like: "Polite doesn't cut it." Not a great example to set
for the young boys in my back seat.
I have the utmost respect for the Laguna Beach Police Department
and the work it does, but I have equal respect for locals and
visitors in our town and certainly pedestrians in all towns.
A few years back, a local resident lost her life in this same
intersection, which necessitated the stop sign at Forest and
Glenneyre. There is simply no contest between a pedestrian and a
The tension displayed on that nice Friday afternoon was not
necessary. Had I been able to let those folks cross the street, we
all would have still gotten where we were going with smiles on our
Regarding "Is design review too contentious in Laguna," absolutely
not! They are principled and fulfill their responsibilities well in
preserving the character of the many different neighborhoods. They
It is the people who appear before them that are contentious!