Tuesday, September 29, 2015


A memorial shrine south of Las Olas:

The words in the picture frame are Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden.
In Loving memory of Tara Jean Murphy 1969 - 2013

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message 'She is Dead'.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

She was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Murphy was killed crossing the highway on April 7, 2013.


  1. The whole state is covered with these memorials now...
    How does the EPA, Coastal commission and the county allow Las Olas mexican restaurant to have parking there so close to an ecological preserve. Let alone parking that dumps oil onto the ground??

  2. I find the proposal to rename the stretch "Frogger Alley" quite distasteful.

  3. You can get mowed down in "Encinitas. Many motorists ignore pedestrian right-of-ways and barrel thru intersections regardless of someone crossing. I had one woman who didn't even bother to brake as she swung into the crossing; I had to literally jump to avoid being hit! Basically one has to be a defensive walker....

  4. Once again we have a 45mph speed limit with sketchy traditional stop lights, daily red light runners, 5 car lanes plus and 100 feet of open asphalt space for pedestrians to cross having to dodge cars while hoping everyone else is paying attention. Partying with friends at the Kraken one night, a woman I know had a tiff with her boyfriend so she bolted across the street in a huff looking neither direction and was not at a crosswalk. She made it to the other bar fine, but only by chance. Today, anyone who goes out for one drink then drives is playing Russian Roulette with their future. So call Schmitty at Swami's Cab or some other sober designated driver!! $10K for your first DUI ain't worth it and its the luck of the draw if a cop believes you've only had one drink. And if he doesn't, no judge will either. Not to mention traffic school etc. That said, have a nice night.

    1. 11:10,

      If your friend gets wasted and wanders across a highway away from signals and crosswalks without looking, then the problem isn't speed limits, number of lanes, traffic signal types, or any other aspect of roadway design. The problem is your friend.

      We don't need to design roads at great expense and inconvenience to the rest of us so you and your friends can safely bar hop.

      I suggest you hang out with a different crowd or make peace with the idea that sooner or later you'll be attending a funeral, and it won't be the fault of the driver, traffic engineers, the city, or society in general. It's sad, but it's also preventable. It's astonishing that so many of us make it to adulthood.

    2. 6:32, the woman in Del Mar who was killed crossing the street wasn't loaded, but crossing 5 lanes. A drunk driver killed her. Sure, a drunk could kill anyone regardless of how many lanes there would be. But the chances of that happening go down with traffic calming features that narrow lanes / crossing time, making crossing safer for peds much safer and not impeding traffic as you suggest. But it certainly is astonishing that so many of us make it to adulthood. Someone once said, if our bodies could live forever, a stupid accident would take most of us out around age 600. I think they were on to something. We're pretty frail.

    3. She was crossing three lanes, not five. Look on Google Maps, satellite view. There are three southbound lanes (left turn, right turn, straight). There is a landscaped median that serves as a safe imtermediate pony for pedestrians, then one separate northbound lane to cross.

      It shows that no road design can assure 100% protection from a speeding drunk driver.

      The questions are: How safe is safe enough? And how far do we need to go to provide safety for drunks who exhibit the dangerous, Darwinian actions described by 11:10?

    4. 7:59, Granted 3 lanes (that could be one). And you're right. "no road can assure 100% protection from (any) driver" especially drunks. But when you can improve pedestrian odds for survival, and lessen the life long grief for a driver that inadvertently kills someone, by all means we should. Even if it means slowing the funk down.

  5. W. H. Auden.......nice......

    - The Sculpin

  6. Not sure what the point of this post is other than to keep feeding the outrage machine. Sure the death of Tara Jean Murphy is tragic but it shouldn't have happened. According to reports, while Murphy and another woman were waiting for their ride, she bolted into the street in front of the car. It was a little before 8 PM on a Sunday.

    I can't imagine how the driver feels, who stayed at the scene and was cleared of speeding or intoxication. Murphy was suspected of intoxication.

    There are three traffic lights in that short stretch to provide pedestrian crossing. It's easy to cross safely. It's not safe to run out into any busy street.

    So please tell us the point of this post.

    1. Yes, it is easy to cross safely at those lights. But its just as easy for a driver to run a red light at the posted speed.

    2. 10:38 PM

      That's true at any controlled intersection whether it's stop lights or stop signs. The tragic death of this woman was not caused by a car running a red light. She bolted into oncoming traffic which is dangerous on any busy street especially at night. While that stretch of road may not be ideal and I drive it a lot, that was not the cause of her death. Unfortunately, this post appears to exploit a tragic, yet unnecessary, death.

  7. 9:24, Its never a good thing to ignore the cause of anyone dying in an accident. . We can't just resign ourselves to "traffic signals work great for people paying attention" when there are far better plans for infrastructure.

  8. Just say it. A roundabout would have save her life.

    Sorry it wasn't installed quick enough. Sorry lady that the power at the helm didn't make the improvements that could make that intersection safer.

  9. There's no guarantee a roundabout would have saved her life. It can be said however that no pedestrians have died in any of our US roundabouts in the last 2 years. Compare that to the 9000 pedestrians killed at traditional intersections here in the same time period. That's not to say any roundabouts are needed on Restaurant Row in Cardiff. There are other measures that could be taken and probably will be as time goes by. Pop-outs, bigger medians / islands and slower speeds at that cluster of businesses probably couldn't hurt. Any driver going slower through that area has greater visibility and a lot better reaction time.

  10. I haven't seen any post that indicates that the poster saw what happened so we are all dependent on the news reports. The reports indicate that the women unexpectedly bolted into the street into oncoming traffic. There is no indication how far away was the car that hit her and how fast it was traveling but they indicated the driver wasn't speeding. Also, I didn't see the extent of her injuries mentioned so it's difficult to know whether she suffered massive body trauma and/or head injuries.

    While either type of injury can be inflicted at various speeds, body trauma increases with speed where as a head injury can incur just falling on your head. I know this isn't a perfect distinction, the point is we don't know if she would be alive had the car been going slower. Some appear to be making that assumption.

    While I'm all for pedestrian upgrades along that stretch, we don't know if anything that has been suggested would have made a difference. Roundabouts are for intersections and the only spot that might apply is the state beach parking lot entrance on the north end. Beside, roundabouts don't stop traffic and from a pedestrian point of view a signal is better.

    I'm not ignoring the cause of her death. Based on what I've read she is responsible for her death. We can't go around trying to mitigate the blatantly careless actions of people. There isn't enough money. People have to act responsibly.

  11. Like it or not, 11:01, 45mph is way too fast in that short Cardiff stretch. Better infrastructure and slower speeds help save lives. It's as simple as that.