Anxiety is growing across the nation and around the world following the attacks in Barcelona and the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, where terrorists used a vehicle to maul a crowd. People are beginning to wonder: is it safe to gather in an open space without fear of a vehicle trampling a crowd of gatherers?
Laguna Beach, California Police Chief Laura Farinella is working on finalizing a safety plan to address that very concern amongst her residents and visitors alike.
According to Farinella, the city will install K barriers in popular gathering areas throughout the city. One of the spots that Farinella has identified is the main beach area on Pacific Coast Highway, which is both a gathering place and an area where protests and rallies frequently take place.
The barrier will be in place to protect pedestrians and drivers alike.
“Sometimes when you get a lot of people on a crowded sidewalk they want to cheat and go into the street and we want to avoid that from happening," Farinella told KCBS-TV. "So that in addition to any vehicles coming up over the sidewalk to strike a pedestrian is what were trying to prevent."
Laguna Beach residents and visitors see how they could become a target following the incidents in Barcelona and Charlottesville where people were ran over by a vehicle.
“As you look at it, obviously you’re scared and you’re nervous about the potential of it happening here as well. Easily a feasible thing to happen in a very idyllic and beautiful spot," a beachgoer said.