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California Today: California Today: A Spreading ‘Yimby’ Movement

NYT

Fifty or so stark white crosses dot the desolate road leading to a military training facility in the Mojave Desert.Each one marks the site of a fatal vehicle crash and is stenciled in black with the date it happened.Fort Irwin Road stretches just 31 miles between the Barstow area and Fort Irwin National Training Center, where Army soldiers are sent to get combat ready.Since the military post’s opening in the early 1980s, dozens of soldiers and civilians have died on the two-lane road in accidents linked to speed, fatigue, carelessness — and the design of the road itself.Continue reading the main storyPaved in the 1940s, it had no shoulders, with its edges flush to the desert floor on either side.If a vehicle drifted even slightly off the pavement, a wheel was apt to catch in the sand, said Ken Drylie, a spokesman for the training center.“You put one tire in the dirt and you’re upside down,” he said. “It was going to be a rollover.”The placement of crosses by Fort Irwin officials was initially intended as a warning to motorists, and then grew over time into a ritual.Thankfully, it has become more infrequent since safety upgrades were made about 12 years ago, including passing lanes, shoulders and rumble strips that warn drivers as they drift.Frank Foster, a photographer based in Victor Valley, captured a series of images along Fort Irwin Road.He encountered a few crosses with children’s toys placed on them. “There is one set of crosses where it looks like an entire family was wiped out in a crash” he said. “It was chilling to say the least.”Mr. Foster shared some of his images with us:PhotoCredit Frank FosterPhotoCredit Frank FosterPhotoCredit Frank FosterPhotoCredit Frank FosterWant to submit a photo for possible publication? You can do it here.California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays

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California Today: California Today: A Spreading ‘Yimby’ Movement

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