Hakiminjurylaw: Long Beach Road Safety Upgrades

Road Safety in Long Beach: A Closer Look at the Willow and Magnolia Intersection

November 06, 2023

After multiple car crashes caused significant property damage, the City of Long Beach is finally moving to make the intersection of Willow and Magnolia safer for everyone.

Molding has been put around Magnolia and Willow, a retail store in the city that has endured its fair share of crashes. The city intends to pour concrete into the molding soon and install temporary k-rails around the corner of the store, which rests on Willow Street and Magnolia Avenue.

According to the city, the new installations should slow down traffic at the busy intersection and prevent cars from crashing into the store. As the city finalizes the new installations, it said it will also seek other permanent solutions to curb crashes at the intersection, including adding a four-way stop to better mitigate traffic.

Discretionary Acts

The city’s decision to put up, or not put up, barriers was a discretionary act. Installation and maintenance of the barriers is a ministerial act. There’s a big difference.

Poor sight lines, high speed limits, short pedestrian crossing lights, and other road design defects often cause car crashes, as they have at this location. However, in most cases, road design features are discretionary acts. California’s limited sovereign immunity law insulates decision-makers from legal actions in these cases.

In most cases, Jan cannot sue the county because her property taxes increase or sue the school board because the dress code is too lenient. Likewise, she cannot take legal action against the city or state for such actions as installing, or not installing, protective barriers, designated bicycle lanes, or traffic control devices, like stop signs, yield signs, and traffic lights.

Ministerial Acts

A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can sue city hall if the issue is a ministerial act. If officials are derelict when it comes to a ministerial act, and their negligence substantially causes injury, the victim could be entitled to substantial compensation.


As mentioned, a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer cannot file a legal action over something like failing to put up a stop sign. Usually, officials have the final word in this area. However, attorneys can file actions if the city or other responsible entity didn’t properly maintain the stop sign. Examples of improper maintenance include failing to:

  • Trim away branches that obscure a sign or signal,
  • Repair vandalized or weather-worn signs or signals,
  • Properly maintain the signal’s electrical system, and
  • Fill large potholes.

Accident compensation in these matters usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Discretionary/Ministerial Crossover

The line between a discretionary and ministerial act is often blurry. In these cases, an attorney can successfully argue for compensation.

Assume a traffic safety study stated the intersection of Main and Elm needed a stoplight. The city ignored that recommendation and did nothing. The safety study arguably turned the discretionary road design matter into a ministerial road maintenance matter.

In all these cases, a lawyer must file a notice of claim before s/he files legal paperwork. So, these cases are especially complex.Officials aren’t completely immune to negligence lawsuits. For a free consultation with a California Automobile Accident Lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.


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