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Tonight: pedestrian deaths spur neighborhood meeting

Original post made on Oct 2, 2012

In hopes of making their streets safer, residents of the Shoreline West neighborhood are taking action in response to this year's pedestrian fatalities on California Street and Shoreline Boulevard.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 10:38 AM

Comments (27)

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Posted by safety first
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 2, 2012 at 11:09 am

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.

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Posted by Safely Home
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

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.
Web Link

The solution is traffic calming.

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Posted by Kevin
a resident of North Whisman
on Oct 2, 2012 at 11:22 am

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.

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Posted by Rex
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm

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.

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Posted by safety first
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm

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.

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Posted by MP
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm

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.

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Posted by More Crosswalks?
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

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.

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Posted by Thoughts
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm

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.

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Posted by No to lane reductions
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm

@ 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?

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Posted by ShoreLine - ShoreDeath
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm

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.

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Posted by Safely Home
a resident of Castro City
on Oct 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm

@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

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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

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.

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Posted by Daniel
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm

@Safely Home

"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.

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Posted by Kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm

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.

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Posted by Nope
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm

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.

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Posted by kman
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm

@ Nope

If the problem is speeders, then the Police need to get involved.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm

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.

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Posted by Just thinking
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm

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.)

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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm

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.

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Posted by suzie
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm

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.

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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 9, 2012 at 12:37 am

Maybe we should ban pedestrians and bicyclists from crossing streets. That would make the roads safer for cars.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 9, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Not a bad idea, since the concept of 'self preservation' seems so foreign.

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Posted by jupiterk
a resident of Gemello
on Oct 9, 2012 at 7:27 pm

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.

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Posted by A slow person
a resident of Whisman Station
on Oct 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm


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).

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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 10, 2012 at 8:47 pm

And so it goes. Citizens ripping on each other and the city bureaucrats go to the bank while doing nothing.

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Posted by Susanne
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm

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.

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Posted by Details, please
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

It would have been more informative to include the time and place for the meeting. Does anyone know?

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