Shadowing a senior reporter, I went to Regent Square in the city at 3:30 p.m. today to cover the launch of an overhead pedestrian flasher. It may mean a little to many, but it's the first instance in Pittsburgh that private citizens offered to pay for a traffic safety improvement. And it has a tragic story. Evelyn Wei, 26-year-old scientific researcher at UPMC, was struck and killed by a car when she was crossing Braddock Avenue in the area in January 2004. Her parents, Donald and Yuling Wei represented by Pittsburgh attorney John P. Gismondi, filed a civil suit against city and had rule in their favor in September 2005. The parents and the attorney have even share in the donation of $20,000 for installing the overhead flasher, which the parents along with the city officials activated at 3:35 p.m. it will be dark until activated by a pedestrian wishing to cross the road.
And I feel a bit frustrated that I don't have any part in writing such a 'first ever incident' story. I saw the parents' choked eyes as they were crossing the road after activating the signal. No doubt they'll fail to hold the tears when they are home.