Caltrans refuses Millbrae El Camino ped crossing request
- Published Saturday, April 8, 2006, in the Redwood City Daily News
City struggling to install new crosswalks
Council to vote on funding for crossings after Caltrans negotiations
get no results
By Liz Harrelson
Daily News Staff Writer
Cash-strapped city officials exasperated at the state's reluctance
to provide a safe haven for pedestrians crossing El Camino Real are
offering to pay for the project -- just to get it done.
Installing a pedestrian crossing would adversely affect traffic by
slowing it down, said officials from the California Department of
Transportation, or Caltrans.
Yet stopping traffic is just what Millbrae city officials and the
family of at least one high school student severely injured while
using an El Camino Real crosswalk want to do.
"If they don't do something about these crosswalks, it's going to
continue," said Jacqueline Parley, mother of Nicole, a Capucino High
School student who was hit in November 2004 while crossing the state
highway at Millwood Drive. The honor student suffered brain injuries
and a broken leg after she was struck by a van.
She has since recovered and is now on a school trip to Europe, said
Another girl has not been so lucky.
A 17-year-old Mills High School student remains "critical, unstable
and comatose" in San Francisco General Hospital nearly two weeks
after she was struck by a car on Tuesday while walking in an El
Camino Real crosswalk at Ludeman Lane, four blocks away from the one
where Parley was hit, said Millbrae police Detective John Aronis
In the wake of this latest tragedy, Millbrae city officials have
renewed their effort to make crossing El Camino Real safer, this
time by proposing to install lights in the Millwood Drive and El
Camino Real crosswalk -- a project normally done by Caltrans.
"It will at least provide some additional protection for folks
trying to cross El Camino Real," said Millbrae Director of Public
Works Ron Popp.
The project is expected to cost around $75,000 -- a large sum for a
city facing a $2 million deficit in the next five years -- and Popp
said that with Caltrans' cooperation it could be complete in fall
Yet past negotiations with Caltrans officials have netted no results.
Caltrans' response to the city's pleas for a crosswalk after Nicole
Parley was struck said that installing a traffic signal would not
prevent future accidents because they were caused by human error.
Signals were unfavorable due to their effects on heavy traffic on
El Camino Real, said Popp in a prepared statement.
Caltrans' policy is to look at the accident history, traffic and
pedestrian flow of a particular intersection, said spokeswoman
She declined to comment on the city's offer but confirmed the
department was talking with city officials.
Millbrae City Council members will vote Tuesday on whether to
allocate street maintenance funds to the project during a 7 p.m.
meeting in the Council Chambers, 621 Magnolia Drive, Millbrae.
[BATN: See also:
Editorial: Loathesome Caltrans says "no" to urban road safety (4 Apr 2006)
Editorial: Pedestrian safety is no accident (18 Jan 2006)
Letter: Pedestrians get short shrift (10 Dec 2005)
Editorial: 19th Avenue letdown (9 Sep 2005)
Caltrans-induced veto of SF 19th Ave fine zone infuriates (9 Sep 2005)
SF 19th Ave speeding fine bill vetoed due to loathesome Caltrans (8 Sep 2005)
Pedestrian-killer Caltrans' opposition sinks 19th Ave fine bill (8 Sep 2005)
Editorial: Doubled SF 19th Avenue fines almost here (25 Aug 2005)
Legislature OKs SF 19th Ave. double fine zone (24 Aug 2005)
Legislature OKs SF 19th Ave. double fine zone (23 Aug 2005)
Caltrans supports speeding, pedestrian deaths, mayhem (23 Aug 2005)
Bill pending to allow double fine zones for speeding (23 Aug 2005)
State senate to take up SF 19th Avenue speeding bill (16 Aug 2005)
How homicidal drivers get away with murder in SF (8 Aug 2005)
etc etc etc etc.]