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Original post made
on Oct 2, 2012
There is no reason for a residential street like California Street to be 4 lanes. Extra wide streets encourage speeding and leave pedestrians in crosswalks exposed to car danger for a much longer period of time. The city should reduce the street width to 2 lanes. Putting up stop lights at every crosswalk is another option, but reducing the number of lanes is probably cheaper and will work just as well.
I agree. 2 lanes with a single middle lane for turns would be best. Drivers will never be able to be trusted with open unfettered sections of roadway, this has been obvious with the ever present speeders and chronic lane changing passers trying to get ahead of everyone else.
Its fine(I guess) on the freeways, but look at what its gotten us on streets like CA Ave. The success Palo Alto had w/ reducing accidents greatly on Arastradero should be looked at.
The solution is traffic calming.
There needs to be more patrols to crash down speedy and reckless drivers, run-through-stop-sign bicyclists, and jaywalking pedestrians. When people follow the rules, everyone else will be more safer.
I disagree with closing down California Street to two lanes especially when it is a major connector to downtown and beyond, and given all the development. The issue of speeding has always been driver behavior not to mention the disregard for traffic laws by all concerned. Keep our streets safe but maintain traffic flow.
El Camino Real and Central Expressway are the designated high-volume routes through Mountain View. Let California Street be the safe residential street that it deserves to be. Way too many pedestrians are getting killed on California Street.
My Shoreline West neighbors and I would like to see the following, at a minimum, implemented: Block off every first parking space with red curb paint, on every street that enters into California like Pettis, Mariposa, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Chiquita, etc. This should increase visibility when we are making turns onto side streets or the other way around onto California itself.
I'm sure other measures would be needed, while this one seems like a simple and non-intrusive first step.
One of the big problems between cars & pedestrians on California between Rengstorff & Soreline is the lengths of the blocks. Pedestrians just can't seem to cross at the corners, but have to cross mid-block. And mostly at night, wearing black clothes.
So, adding a light mid-block between Rengstorff & Escuela for a crosswalk should cut down on Jaywalkers.
I don't really like the 2 lane idea, but I would like to see PAINTED turn lanes at the intersections and would give up a lane each way to accomadate.
And, MORE police - give tickets to jaywalkers! Remind people that pedestrians do not always have the right of way, and that the laws of physics trump the traffic laws.
I've driven California a few times recently to get a better feel. I wouldn't support reducing the street to 2 lanes. However, I believe by reducing the speed limit to 30 mph (and enforcing it), conditions would be safer. I'd also be in favor of illuminated cross walks, and I like the idea proposed by MP of blocking off a bit of parking to improve visibility at intersections.
@ safely home, If you read the comments, the reason Arastradero maybe working is because people that use to use that road are using other roads, backing other streets up. So it is not working. And the traffic jams at Gunn and Foothill are a nightmare.
Reducing 4 lanes to 2 just makes the side streets all that more dangerous. Is that what u really want?
Crossing Shoreline in the crosswalks at Dana or Mercy is a sure way to get run down by traffic. Even in the rare amd unlikely event that one car stops, you can be sure that the cars following will simply swerve around the stop car. This has happened to me no less than 10 times since 2003 when I moved in to SWAN. But the usual case is that cars simply don't stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
I stand at those crosswalks with a baby stroller and cars simply do not stop. At Dana St. there is even a school, and cars do not stop. Not even police cars stop for me at that crosswalk. I amazed at how blind these drivers are.
Crossing Shoreline at Villa is a suckers game. Cars simply ignore the pedestrian walk sign and try to outrace the pedestrian through the intersection.
If the city cannot create a safe walking experience to downtown from SWAN, then their "Grand Boulevard" idea for El Camino is really just a bunch of political hot air.
@No to lane reductions, Read the part in the report where they talk about no decrease in current safety of outlying roads.
Yes, I want safer roads and if it does not decrease the safety of the other roads as proven by statistical accident data, all the better. A proven winner. I know drivers hate the idea, but traffic calming has be PROVEN to save lives. We've tried other ways, doesn't work. We could have cops on that road all day and people would still speed and people would still continue to be killed.
Nope, its time for people to start planning their days better because the days of rushing around because you're late or just in a hurry are ending soon. I only drive and have only ever driven since I was 16, but the way the nutzos are driving lately, I would welcome the protection on the road by physically forced speed reductions
Who should get first priority in street design and improvements, some give and take will have to happen. You have 3 types of users, car, foot, bike. Speed with slow down design, color bike lanes and better lighting. Went to Reno saw an nicely designed street with traffic circles or roundabouts.
"traffic calming has be PROVEN to save lives"
And there are other methods proven to save lives as well
"We've tried other ways, doesn't work."
No, we tried some ways, not working. There are other things to try before reducing the road from 4 lanes to 2 lanes become the only option.
The bottom line is the city doesn't really try enough and needs to do more. But it's way too early to make it sound like the only way to fix the problem is to make California 2-lane.
Here is a solution that hasn't come up.
The bikers and foot traffic need more room, solution is simple.
Make parking on certain streets illegal. Then there would be plenty of room for the bikers and pedestrians and there won't be a reason to reduce the lanes.
Speeders have killed on California ave. Wider and more lanes with a more open feel will cause speeds to go up, and deaths to continue.
If the problem is speeders, then the Police need to get involved.
Typical city response will be to snarl traffic, reducing speed to a crawl. That way it frees the police for more productive (i.e. profitable) activities.
So where did the idea of one lane means slower traffic at the times of the latest deaths? My understanding is that at the time of these tragadies, the speeding cars were the only ones on the road.
Now it may make it *seem* safer to those who have to cross, because cars are not zipping by; but is that because there is only one lane or because they are moving slower? Four lanes with an enforced reasonable speed can "calm" the traffic.
On the other hand, you can't fix stupid. There will always be some 'bozo' driving recklessly regardless of the "posted" speed limit, or how many lanes are painted on the road.
(please excuse the typos and spelling mistakes, my smartphone isn't that smart and doesn't do handle java script well.)
All these ideas are for nothing. Public Works traffic has to sign on, and they won't unless a citizen is willing to go through YEARS of red tape.
i also want to remind drivers who are making a right turn, once you see a picture of a person on the traffic light kindly "STOP" and allow pedestrian to cross.
Maybe we should ban pedestrians and bicyclists from crossing streets. That would make the roads safer for cars.
Not a bad idea, since the concept of 'self preservation' seems so foreign.
I understand that driving is a privilege and people need to be careful and be focused on the road while driving all that. But I don't think our roads have evolved with the increase in number of people driving in our roads. all these pedestrian cross paths on middle field road where there are no signals and lights on the cross path is really dumb. No driver wants to stop especially during peak commuting time. Rengstroff ave is a hell especially for drivers who are going north after waiting for 5 to 7 mins for trains and then you see mi pueblo shoppers crossing the road and you have to wait again after crossing the track is a real hell. I understand we all need to be patient and obey all traffic laws and driving is a privilege. They need to build pedestrian overpasses so that drivers can drive without stopping every 1000 feet on Rengstorff and Middlefield road. Wiht all these idiots running our cities and towns, I don't expect any miracle in terms of common sense.
Why don't you show us how to run a City, as you clearly have a superior and brilliant mind (except for the writing part).
And so it goes. Citizens ripping on each other and the city bureaucrats go to the bank while doing nothing.
I used California since I worked at Gemco and still use it. I avoid using El Camino as its to slow. I make better time with not so much stopping and starting. I believe I do not speed and can see one turning lane in the middle and one lane in each direction. I believe this would make it safer and still faster than the El Camino. Give tickets to jaywalkers. Lets all work together to solve our problem.
It would have been more informative to include the time and place for the meeting. Does anyone know?
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