“My name is Isabel Manalo, I am here to speak in favor of this Ordinance. Almost one year ago, on April 25, 2014, my family and I were involved in an accident at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor in Buena Park. My brother, sister, and I were waiting outside the restaurant with my grandma, when a driver, who was pulling into a disabled parking space that was facing the restaurant, lost control of his car and drove straight into us, killing my grandmother. My sister suffered two broken ankles and I was hospitalized for one week with two scull fractures. My family still continues to be affected due to the death of my grandma—a death that could have been prevented. Shortly after the accident, Farrell’s installed inexpensive barriers in front of all of its restaurants which was a small sacrifice they made in order for their customers to be safe.
I am in favor of this ordinance because it will make sure that parking lots are designed to protect people in front of restaurants, stores, and other buildings in Artesia.
I respectfully request that the city council approve this ordinance, so that no one in Artesia will have to go through what I have gone through and that we can take comfort knowing that this terrible accident will result in saving many lives.”
Last night, by unanimous decision, the Artesia City Council approved a code amendment to the Artesia Municipal Code to “establish new standards in parking lot design to lessen the chance for vehicle-into-building crashes.” Designed to “protect persons, pedestrians, businesses and property from death or injury from vehicles, Ordinance No. 15-817 and is referred to as the “Artesia Outdoor Dining and Seating Safety Standard Ordinance. “
The Manalo family have come through tragedy, and thanks to Victor's efforts on the City Council and a great deal of long hard work over the last year, other families will be spared having to experience the same sadness and loss. And there is more good news for Californians, as there is a bill in the California State Assembly (AB 764) which encourages the inclusion of vehicle barriers in parking lots statewide codes. This bill is endorsed by the California Restaurant Association, largely because of this accident and because of the efforts of one man -- Farrell's owner Mike Fleming.
Mike was deeply saddened by the tragedy and acted immediately to prevent future tragedy. In an interview with CBS 2 reporter Stacey Butler which aired on November 14, 2014, Fleming reported that it took only a matter of days to install 12 safety barriers at this location, each costing about $500, which he called a “small price to pay.” He said, “In an area where it involves public safety, there is no compromise to me,” Fleming said. “It’s my mission now, for the rest of my life, to make sure that this doesn’t happen at any other business.”
For more on AB 764 and other legislation around the country, watch for more updates.