Posted by Steve, a resident of the Jackson Park neighborhood, on Jan 10, 2013 at 5:35 pm
How many people on foot and cyclists have been killed by automobiles on California St. that were the fault of the road design in the last 20 years? 30? 40?
The tragedy that occurred to Mr. Ware was a horrible thing to happen, but it happened because of poor judgment of a irresponsible driver speeding and the long-time need for a turn-lane signal arrow at the intersection where the accident occurred, not because of the number of lanes available.
I was involved in an auto accident at California St. and San Antonio in the early 80's where a young lady traveling the opposite direction made an left right in front of me. I was doing the 35 mph limit, and the police verified that. This was before the left-turn lanes on Calif. had their own green light. The city added such a feature not too long after, telling me that my incident at that busy crossing was not unique.
--> The California/Escuela intersection now has left-turn lights. Had they been put in long ago as needed, Mr. Ware could be here with us today.
--> Had Mr. Pumar driven at a sensible speed, again Mr. Ware may not have suffered.
--> Had California St. had only 2 lanes instead of 4, would such an accident be unlikely? I think not. You only need one lane to break a speed limit, and only two to make a left turn into the path of on-coming traffic.
The only suggestion I agree with is the lack of need for the short section of 6 lanes on Shoreline. Just turn the outside lanes into right-turn-only lanes. Narrow existing routes from 4 lanes to 2 and I will show you a lot of frustrated drivers who will start speeding down neighborhood back streets in an attempt to make up time caused by the huge traffic back-ups such a plan will cause.
Shoreline and San Antonio are major traffic arteries, and alternative routes do not exist for the traffic you are trying to discourage. Narrowing these routes will create more and bigger problems that it would solve.