News


Atherton pedestrian struck by car dies of injuries

Atherton resident Shahriar Rahimzadeh, 32, was crossing El Camino Real

Atherton resident Shahriar Rahimzadeh, 32, died at about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, at Stanford Hospital of injuries sustained after being struck by a car earlier that day as he was crossing El Camino Real in Atherton, police said.

Mr. Rahimzadeh had been crossing El Camino Real at Almendral Avenue in Atherton on foot from east to west, Sgt. Sherman Hall told the Almanac.

He was struck in the southbound slow lane by a Volvo S40 driven by a 17-year-old girl from San Carlos. The driver's name is not being released because she is a minor.

Mr. Rahimzadeh was a 2001 graduate of Menlo-Atherton High School.

Atherton police and Menlo Park Fire Protection District crews responded to the accident. Southbound El Camino Real lanes were closed from 5th Street and northbound lanes were been reduced to one lane of travel.

There was "significant damage" to the Volvo, Sgt. Hall said.

Police are investigating. "We're looking at the speed and that kind of stuff," Sgt. Hall said. "So far, we're not able to place (Mr. Rahimzadeh) in the crosswalk."

Mr. Rahimzadeh was struck hard enough to be thrown some distance from the site of the collision, Sgt. Hall said.

Police waited until the driver's parents were on the scene before interviewing her, and she was "absolutely cooperative" with police, Sgt. Hall said.

Comments

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Posted by resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm

This is a residential area. Why are there no sidewalks and pedestrian crossing lights on El Camino in Atherton? How many people have been killed because the city isn't working more aggressively with Caltrans to fix this? Other cities seem to have no problem improving pedestrian safety along their sections of El Camino, so I doubt this is the fault of Caltrans.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 23, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

resident:

"Why are there no sidewalks and pedestrian crossing lights on El Camino in Atherton?"

because it wouldn't coincide with the residents delusion that they live in a "rural" area. Until Atherton residents pull their collective heads out and demand Caltrans address this problem It will continue. Atherton residents do not want sidewalks as they are "inconsistent with the rural character of our town."


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Posted by Witness
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jul 23, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I witnessed this tragic accident today. It had nothing to do with sidewalks. The pedestrian ran across a very busy section of the road and the driver simply didn't see him. It was tragic for both parties. More stoplights would definitely help as I can see that pedestrians have very few places to cross.

I urge anybody who also witnessed the event to contact the Atherton police to tell them what you saw. I gave the best information that I could, but many people left the scene who had a better view than I did.


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Posted by Jim
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 23, 2014 at 6:58 pm

I am sure that cross walks would help and definitely should be added at every intersection. However, I suspect that speed is the real issue. Cars regularly travel down ECR in Atherton at 60 mph+. At that speed, there are going to be accidents and pedestrians are going to be killed. So, maybe the real quest is - why isn't the speed law enforced on ECR. Enforcing the speed limit will save lives, and also will generate a ton of money for the city/county/state. A law enforcement officer positioned on ECR could issue speeding tickets as fast as he/she could write them.


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Posted by Michele
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 23, 2014 at 7:23 pm

I live right off El Camino in Atherton. I drive down this stretch from Selby Lane past Isabella at least 3 or 4 times a day. While people may go 40 or 45 mph I rarely see people doing 60 mph or more. I also see many cars pulled over by the Atherton Police for going a lot less than that. El Camino is a 6 lane road and is very busy. It is a tragedy any time a pedestrian gets hit no matter what the circumstances, but I wouldn't be sure that speed was the cause of this accident. My prayers go out to this person and their family.


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Posted by Longtime ECR walker
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 23, 2014 at 7:34 pm

First of all El Camino real is not highway 101, yet I see people driving ECR like it is a freeway, and yes I have seen people doing at least 60. ECR also doesn't seem to be engineered very well, the street narrows down to two lanes right in front of the Bonsai restaurant and cars nearly hit bikes or walkers in the bike lane, especially in the dirt section before the Bonsai that floods when it rains. How about if people SLOW DOWN, and keep an eye out for walkers and cyclists? This area gets plenty of day laborers and youths on their bikes. Also, people catch the bus regularly and then try to cross ECR where they are nearly run over. How about CALTRANS puts up some lights or crosswalks where you hit a signal, or if it is the City of Atherton stop acting like it is the carriage days. Stop the carnage now.


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Posted by Witness
a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge
on Jul 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I'm sure what Jim and Walker say about speeding is true at certain times on ECR. However, in this case, it was not. The driver was going at more or less the speed limit. I know this because I was two cars behind her, and was travelling at the same rate. There were lots of cars. Nobody was going 60mph. While I'm sure there are many ways to make ECR safer, in this particular case, only a stop light would have helped. Crossing 6 lanes of traffic moving at 40 MPH simply is treacherous.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I encourage Atherton residents to appear before the Town Council and demand traffic lights at a number of ECR crossings in Atherton.

There is a crazy idea being considered by the Town Council to solve this problem by reducing ECR in Atherton to two lanes in each direction - which will do nothing to reduce risks to pedestrians and will simply produce a huge traffic jam. And ECR would become impassable for fire engines and other emergency vehicles.


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Posted by Lo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 23, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Hello Witness, resident of Portola Valley that was 2 cars behind the accident,

Thank you for your information.


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Posted by BDJ
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 23, 2014 at 10:23 pm

PLEASE if you were witness to this accident and/or know anything, contact the Atherton police. A young man is dead tonight. He was an Atherton resident. He is someone's son and brother and loved by many. [Portion deleted. Police say the driver did not leave the scene and was very cooperative.] Please... Speak up
if you know or saw anything that could be helpful. Thank you in advance.


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Posted by BDJ
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 23, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Correction the driver has been identified and is being cooperative.


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Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 23, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Proper sidewalks and bicycle lanes are needed on both sides of this major thoroughfare. Additionally several more signals with crosswalks are needed and streets with no signals should have pedestrian crossing barriers. If land is needed the ECR right of way extends into the adjacent properties also Menlo School should give up property for the safety of their students and others.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2014 at 11:46 pm

This is so awful.

Like many of you, I traverse this part of ECR frequently. I am so sorry to have heard about this.

Perhaps non-residents can make their desires for more traffic lights known to Atherton council members.

As an aside, but relevant: Has anyone else noticed that when you're going to make a U-turn at ECR and Fifth Ave., it's incredibly dangerous, because the westbound drivers on Fifth, heading into the right turn onto ECR, have two lanes and they also have a green light at the same time? How can this mistake have happened, and not be fixed yet?


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Posted by Longtime ECR walker
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 23, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Why are there no sidewalks on either El Camino, Stockbridge or Selby Lane?
ECR is used as a de facto highway, and Stockbridge and Selby are used as transit routes to 280. In rainy times, Stockbridge and Selby flood and make huge ponds. In warm weather many walkers are out way in the street during commute times on these streets. Does anyone know if either San Mateo County or the City of Atherton has jurisdictions over these right of ways? No one seems to have the answer and the roadways are left as rural dirt roads, even though numerous speeding cars pass on these roads daily. There have been several fatalities in Atherton in recent years, are posters saying this is because Atherton wants to be a rural community?


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Posted by Amanda
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:19 am

I drive from Redwood City to Menlo Park every day for work. I have seen WAY too many pedestrian accidents and even more near accidents. I can't tell you how often I or another car will stop because someone is in the crosswalk ( it's the law people!) only to have a car from behind swerve around you and nearly miss the person in the crosswalk. Often times I will put my hand out my window signaling the upcoming cars to stop because they don't even seem to consider the fact that I am stopped because someone is in the street. I will also say that because of the tree's that line the road, there is an awful glare or blind spot in the morning hours making it hard to see the crosswalks. With as much money as MP has, and as much money as we pay in parking tickets, i expect a lot more from them.


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Posted by who controls
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 4:58 am

Amanda:

Your post implies this is a Menlo Park problem. El Camino is a
State highway, and the area where this accident occurred as well as several other accidents a bit further north in the last few years, are under State Highway or Atherton control. So if you want action, and I agree something needs to be done, go to the correct Authority.

The speed limits along El Camino should be reduced and it would be nice to get some real enforcement to get autos driving within the limits.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 5:52 am

I have lived right off of ECR on the east side of the roadway for 17 years. I would disagree that cars "rarely" hit 60 mph. While it is not a common occurrence, it is certainly NOT rare. While the speed limit is 35, speeds more commonly average between 45 and 55 mph. It amounts to having an expressway through the middle of town. Speeds do not reach this level in Menlo Park or Redwood City where there are more traffic signals

Each crosswalk MUST have, at the very least, flashing lights IN the road at the crosswalk that are triggered by a button activated by the pedestrian. Another option are the flashing signs at the side of the roadway also triggered by the ped.

The ultimate solution here is to reduce ECR to two auto lanes in both directions. The curb lane should be separated from the two auto lanes and turned into a pedestrian/bicycle lane protected from traffic. This is a LONG OVERDUE change that is needed.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 6:53 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

"There have been several fatalities in Atherton in recent years, are posters saying this is because Atherton wants to be a rural community? "

That's exactly why. They don't want sidewalks.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 7:07 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Reducing ECR to two lanes will create a huge traffic jam and divert existing traffic to the Alameda and Middlefield thereby rendering ECR, the Alameda and Middlefield inoperative for fire engines and other emergency response vehicles.

Putting bike lane on a State highway is an invitation to disaster - bike lanes should be provided on parallel streets.

The only answer is more traffic lights with emergency vehicle preemption devices.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2014 at 7:41 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

I am with Amanaa on this part,

"I can't tell you how often I or another car will stop because someone is in the crosswalk ( it's the law people!) only to have a car from behind swerve around you and nearly miss the person in the crosswalk. Often times I will put my hand out my window signaling the upcoming cars to stop because they don't even seem to consider the fact that I am stopped because someone is in the street."

Flashing Lights in the pavement, enforce pedestrian in crosswalk laws would be a huge improvement.

Menlo Voter says "There have been several fatalities in Atherton in recent years" and that is a fact, some in crosswalk.

If this turns out as witness has stated , ran across El Camino into car, very hard to prevent that. I have also seen 60MPH in this area for the most part 90% of the time 40-45MPH.

Safety can be improved, I am not in favor of reducing lanes on ECR in Atherton.

I couldn't tell from the article if person was hit in crosswalk or not, and has there been confirmation of death in any media? Sorry for everyone involved.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2014 at 7:42 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Amanda


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Posted by resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:22 am

I agree there may be a perception that reducing traffic lanes on ECR would create would create huge traffic jams. Keep in mind that through traffic on ECR is only two lanes through Menlo Park (with additional dedicated turn lanes). In Redwood City ECR is only two lanes north of Woodside Rd. There are afternoon back-ups in Redwood City because of traffic light timing and turn lanes backing up into the through lanes. ECR is also just two lanes in certain parts of San Carlos, Belmont and San Mateo. The entire stretch through Burlingame is 2 lanes. I personally think that reducing lanes will not lead to significant jams, and could possibly be a traffic calming measure.

There are safety measures that can be taken to make bicycling/peds safe. S.F. is painting bike lanes to make them more visible. There's been better separation on Woodside Rd.(state highway) that seems to have been effective. Some sort of decorative barrier can be used to ensure separation.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:31 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I personally think that reducing lanes will not lead to significant jams, and could possibly be a traffic calming measure."

You can't put ten pounds of traffic into a five pound bag - where will the displaced traffic go? It will become cut-through traffic getting to the Alameda and Middlefield.

"There are safety measures that can be taken to make bicycling/peds safe. S.F. is painting bike lanes to make them more visible."

Lines of paint on the pavement provide zero protection to a bicyclist - if paint lines provided protection why does CalTrans install strong metal barriers on the edge of highways instead of just painting lines there?


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Posted by resident
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:55 am

Well then...I guess we just have to get ourselves some of those 5 lb. bags that Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Carlos, Belmont, and Burlingame are using in each of their two lanes.


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Posted by Richard Vaughan
a resident of Hillview Middle School
on Jul 24, 2014 at 9:02 am

This accident possibly could have been avoided with in-street lighting at the crosswalks. They work for me on my way to Hillview on both Santa Cruz and Valparaiso. I have seen that on ECR new striping with triangles and signage has been added at existing crosswalks since the last fatality but I don't think that many motorists pay that much attention. Getting the state to do anything on these roads is a maze of regulations and meetings. Just look at how long Woodside has tried, still unsuccessfuly last I checked, to get a flashing light installed on 84 (Woodside Rd.) in front of the elementary school. Sad to say but it will/might take someone getting killed to make a change.
For my .02, ECR should at least have a dedicated bike/pedestrian lane going through Atherton. Sidewalks might work in some parts but not all, especially those residences that come right up to the street As an avid bike commuter, travelling ECR is always my last resort. It would be great to have dedicated bike lanes. Agree with Peter that alternative routes for bikes are better but Middlefield gets just as nasty once you get to 5th Ave. My commute is always most interesting when riding Marsh Rd through Atherton. I still haven't gotten up the courage to try Alma. Now there's one for any cyclist with a DeathWish.
The problem with just relying upon side streets is that there are so many stop signs. Bicyclists, like motorists, also enjoy the straight, unencumbered routes.
It all comes down to coherent planning. The Dutch and the Danes have it truly figured out on how to balance bike/pedestrian/auto traffic. Web Link

Hope the victim has a speedy recovery


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Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 9:18 am

pogo is a registered user.

Let's agree that this is a horrible tragedy and reasonable steps could help to avoid it. Some of the suggestions such as flashing crosswalk signals could probably help a lot.

Unfortunately, El Camino Real was designed to be the principal north-south street of the peninsula. In fact, other than our two freeways, it is the ONLY roadway that runs the entire length of the Peninsula from North to South. It's purpose is to move large numbers of cars from one community to the other. It is inconvenient to take the freeway when you just want to go a few miles up or down El Camino and it is irresponsible to take back roads to do the same thing.

El Camino should facilitate vehicular traffic and should remain our principal roadway. We can reduce pedestrian accidents by making crossing safer without impeding people who need to travel on our highways.


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Posted by KW
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 24, 2014 at 9:48 am

I drive this stretch of El Camino on average 12 times per week. Based on my actual, frequent observations, here are my thoughts:

1) Traffic moves at 40 to 45 Mph, occasionally 50. Almost never 60, with rare individual exceptions, many of whom do get ticketed;

2) Actual stop lights are needed to facilitate pedestrians crossing el Camino safely. Nothing less will halt the jackasses who swerve around stopped traffic. This will also allow safe transit for emergency vehicles;

3)Reducing this section to 2 lanes in each direction is an amazingly stupid idea, that will greatly increase cut-through traffic on residential roads. The reader who thinks Menlo Park El Camino works has clearly not taken a close look at it. I, and many others, regularly cut through Menlo Park on city streets to reach our destinations in either Menlo Park or Palo Alto, since El Camino is so frequently glutted and dysfunctional. I very much doubt that would be seen as an improvement in Atherton;

4) to Hmmm. If you paid attention and observed the clearly posted "NO U_TURNS" sign at 5th Avenue and El Camino, you would not put others at risk. The reason for the prohibition on U-turns is precisely because of the three-way traffic flow, designed to accomodate the volume of cars using this intersection safely. The only flaw is your failure to observe the signs and follow them. I see many tickets per week issued at this intersection to others with the same apparent lexical challenge.


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Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:01 am

There's a clearly marked crosswalk Almendral Avenue and El Camino - clearly painted, and with signs in both directions. Google Street View:

Web Link

From the other direction:

Web Link

I have used this several times, as it is the only crosswalk for some distance on El Camino Real. However, it feel like it is a bit of a death wish to use it, because 95% of drivers completely ignore it - you pretty much have to wait until there's no traffic, because there is no way you can trust anyone to stop. Similar to an observation in the above comments, I've had one person stop for me, I'd cautiously start to cross, and a car in the other lane would simply blast through at full speed. Honestly, I'd be hard-pressed to think of an intersection where I've seen more people break the law than this one - 95% is *not* an exaggeration. People don't take crosswalks seriously. Maybe a flashing light would help, but probably ticketing 30-40 people would help, also. It's infuriating.




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Posted by Menlo oldtimer
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:55 am

There are no sidewalks between Menlo College and Fifth Avenue, yet there is a constant stream of runners, walkers and bicycles. Upon observation, there is typically about five feet of bare dirt between the fence of property owners and the street. Why can't Caltrans put in a sidewalk on this border? It is crazy to mix vehicles with pedestrians. Where are the street lights and crosswalks as well? It is pitch black at night. It appears that this is a purposeful strategy of Athertonians to oppose sidewalks so no passerby will linger in Atherton. Of course that puts their maids and landscapers at risk getting off the bus or bicycle, but perhaps that is unimportant to Athertonians.


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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:59 am

The "naked" crosswalks on El Camino are undoubtedly dangerous. A sensible next step would be to add roadway-embedded flashing lights to the crosswalks in each lane of traffic, as for example Los Altos has done on San Antonio Road.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:04 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

In my opinion the only way to protect pedestrians is to install stop lights and well marked and well lighted cross walks.

And the only way to protect bicyclists is to physically separate them from highway traffic.

In neither case do painted lines provide any real protection and they actually increase the chances of injury or death by creating the false illusion of safety.


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Posted by David Roise
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm

I agree with the other commenters that the biggest problem along this stretch of ECR is SPEED. According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (see Web Link ), only 1% of pedestrians are killed when struck by a car traveling less than 20 mph, whereas 35% are killed when struck by a car traveling greater than 46 mph. The inflection point seems to be right around 35 mph (4.9% fatalities at speeds of 31-35 mph compared to 16.2% fatalities at speeds of 36-45 mph). If people actually drove the posted speed limit of 35 mph on ECR, not only would fewer people die from collisions, but drivers would have more time to see, react to, and stop for pedestrians in the crosswalks.

How can we get drivers to slow down? More enforcement of the speed limit might help, but even more helpful would be to give ECR a road diet. Traffic engineers have long known that straight, wide roads with wide lanes are perceived by drivers as expressways, and that they drive on them accordingly. I totally agree with the others in this forum calling for Caltrans to reduce the width of ECR in Atherton to 2 lanes in each direction and to use the extra space for bike lanes and sidewalks. An ECR that is no longer perceived of as a freeway will do more to slow traffic in this area--without impeding overall flow or causing massive traffic jams--than adding a bunch of stoplights all the way through Atherton. In addition, we can use the space saved to improve safety for the normally under-served and most vulnerable road users--pedestrians and bicyclists. Finally, a narrower ECR means a shorter distance for pedestrians to cross the road, and thus a decreased danger in crossing. Win, win, win.

By the way, for those who complain about how bad the traffic is on ECR in Menlo Park for 2-3 hours a day during rush hour, keep in mind that for 21-22 hours a day there's no problem. Increasing road capacity to solve peak demand is a colossal waste of space during the majority of time when there's no need for it.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" An ECR that is no longer perceived of as a freeway will do more to slow traffic in this area--without impeding overall flow or causing massive traffic jams-"

This is an illogical statement - how do you propose to move the same number of cars per hour on two lanes as you can on three lanes?


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Posted by WP
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Heights
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm

I drive this set ion of ECR frequently and earlier this week saw a close call at the Almendral crosswalk. I was in the far left lane headed north, and an older woman was crossing the street from west to east, so coming from my left. I saw her and the car ahead of me stopped, but the two cars in the lanes to my right kept barreling right through and almost hit the woman as she emerged from behind the first car. It is flat out scary to cross ECR in Atherton, and I was saddened but not surprised to read this news. Please people, slow down, and if there's a car stopped in front of a crosswalk, it's probably for a good reason.


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Posted by Another Idea
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Lots of thoughtful ideas.

This area of road will continue to experience tragic deaths until some action is taken.

Have not heard anyone suggest the following: What about a pedestrian overpass? Installing such an option would certainly make me as a pedestrian feel more safe than any of the other options.

Unless I am missing something is seems that it is a choice between spending some money or having more inevitable deaths.

Any suits against the state for not taking significant/impactful action on a piece of road that has proven time and time again to lead to a pedestrian death?

Other than the cost who would oppose a pedestrian overpass?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"What about a pedestrian overpass? "

Such an overpass would have to meet ADA slope requirements and that would mean approach ramps on each side of at least 100 ft. length.

"Studies have shown that many pedestrians will not use an overpass or underpass if they can cross at street level in about the same amount of time. Overpasses work best when the topography allows for a structure without ramps, such as an overpass over a sunken highway."

"Overpasses (excluding bridges) have a range from $150 to $250 per square foot or $1,073,000 to $5,366,000 per complete installation, depending on site conditions. "


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Posted by MacC
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:28 pm

I am so sorry: condolences to his family and friends.
It's a long way between traffic lights for a pedestrian to walk. How about some kind of bridge over the road? Benefit: totally separates pedestrians from cars. I suppose cost and "ugliness" would doom this, though it could also be designed attractively.
I know that the re-striping of crosswalks attempted to make them more visible. But without lights of some kind, I believe ECR will continue to be hazardous to cross. I drive it often (I live in N Fairoaks) and am constantly nervous of unlit bikes ridden by dark-clad people (as a bike commuter, I try to be as visible as possible) and of not seeing someone in the crosswalk in time.


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Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

Actually, Peter Carpenter, experience other places has shown that a "road diet" does not make traffic significantly worse. Web Link from the link: "Whenever some city proposes taking lanes away from a road, residents scream that they're going to create a huge traffic snarl. But the data shows that nothing truly terrible happens. The amount of traffic on the road simply readjusts and overall congestion doesn't really increase."

The argument that reducing the lanes on El Camino in Atherton will increase cut-through traffic is really tenuous. The streets in Atherton are laid out in such a way that any cut through traffic would have to go all the way to Alameda or Middlefield- most streets on the east side of ECR don't even connect to Middlefield, and Alameda is quite a distance from ECR. Fewer lanes of car traffic will absolutely make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, who have just as much right to move about safely (and are often doing so because they don't have the option of driving.) Let's make El Camino safer for everyone.


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Posted by Las Lomitas District Parent
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:41 pm

I don't understand the logic of posters who say if ECR is reduced from three lanes to two in this stretch then traffic will move off ECR onto neighborhood roads. The stretch of three lanes is relatively short, considering most people are traveling at minimum between MP and RWC. To skirt this section requires a lot more effort than just staying on it. Alameda and Middlefield are not viable options unless you are already on them so I believe people will just get used to it.

We all need to make adjustments in when and how we drive: avoid the area during peak hours if you can, leave earlier if you have to pass through during peak hours, pay attention and don't assume we are the only beings on the road. I am so tired of the people who think they are more important than everyone else and apparently believe the rules of the road don't apply to them (Amanda's description of people not stopping is my number one fear as a parent of young kids starting to go out and about on their own).


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The amount of traffic on the road simply readjusts and overall congestion doesn't really increase." Yes and that is because some of the traffic will become cut-through traffic and move to the Alameda and Middlefield.

" But the data shows that nothing truly terrible happens. " Actually the data in the cited study do NOT address reducing the number of lanes but of adding lanes. There is NO data on the converse.

Empirically evidence shows that ECR traffic moves much more slowly and is more congested on the two lane sections of ECR compared to the three lane sections.


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Posted by Janet
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Sad that another person died. Since THIS person was an Atherton resident and not a drunk or a homeless person, perhaps the other Atherton residents will stop their resistance to traffic lights.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:43 pm

All I can say is prayers for both parties in this. A 17yr old girl who will live with this forever regardless of fault and a man who lost his life. I pray for both of them and their families.


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Posted by Debbie Rosenberg
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm

I have been a resident of Atherton for 34 years and have seen traffic increase on El Camino by leaps and bounds. Having lived off of Alejandra west of El Camino I have witnessed many accidents and almost daily near misses of bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers at the Alejandra-El Camino intersection. It is particularly dangerous for all when cars are turning left onto El Camino into the horrifying tiny merge lane, and now right turns are blind due to obscured vision because of those card turning left. I totally agree with everyone proposing more traffic lights on El Camino. Our intersection supports heavy cut-through traffic and a multitude of card going to Menlo School, Menlo College and Sacred Heart schools. I have called the Atherton Police countless times to report my frustration. Things are getting worse and worse by the year here as well as many other Atherton-El Camino intersections. What will it take to save lives and these terrible tragedies? We unequivocally need more traffic lights! We've lost dear friends because of this. Drivers are distracted and rushed. This will sadly continue to happen. They have tried all of the other pointless little fixes already. I implore everyone, please let's join together to make this happen with Caltrans at our intersection and several others. Safety and human lives must come first. There is no other choice for our community and our loved ones. No more waiting, we to do something NOW!


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Posted by My 2 bits
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm

This is so sad. My condolences to the Rahmizadeh family. My heart goes out to the driver because her life is forever changed as well. I too drive the El Cam route between Menlo Park and Redwood City several times a day. It can be a terrifying drive for lots of reasons: pedestrians dart out from the shade of the trees, cyclists on the shoulder have to swerve into traffic due to debris and other obstacles, lots of foliage and shadows at some times of day make visibility tough. There is no safe way for people who ride the bus to walk to the nearest crosswalk and the crosswalks are not safe at all. If you doubt me on this just stand at the corner of Atherton Avenue and El Camino for 15 minutes and watch the red light runners. Drivers are so frustrated after stop and go all the way through Menlo Park they simply can't stand the idea of another stop at Atherton Avenue.
Please don't blame the driver - she has enough to live with for the rest of her life. Our community includes drivers young and old. Not only do we all need to drive with care and attention but we also need to walk and ride with care and attention.


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Posted by David Roise
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm

PC writes: "This is an illogical statement - how do you propose to move the same number of cars per hour on two lanes as you can on three lanes?"

Sigh....

If 100% percent of the roadway was taken up by cars in all three lanes, then you would be correct, it would be impossible to move those cars in two lanes.

It is never the case, however, that all three lanes of ECR in Atherton are fully occupied. Indeed, most of the backup on ECR in Atherton currently results from cars needing to stop at stoplights, not from insufficient road capacity. Improving synchronization of stoplights, and keeping cars flowing (albeit at a lower average speed than currently) would more than compensate for decreased road width, except possibly at peak hours. Your proposal to increase the number of stoplights on ECR will do more to decrease traffic flow than decreasing the number of lanes from three to two. One of the main reasons traffic backs up in Menlo Park is because of the closely-spaced stoplights, not because there are only two travel lanes.


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Posted by CW
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Tragic indeed for at least two lives but even with a history of similar incidents, let's not make the assumption that any change in the spirit of prevention will actually have net improvement.

Says the guy that was hit *twice* -- no serious injuries -- in a protected crosswalk at Alameda and Valparaiso...


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Posted by Debbie Rosenberg
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victim's family and to the young driver. All of their lives are tragically destroyed. We can fix this. Why do we even need to debate this issue when it is so clear?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

" most of the backup on ECR in Atherton currently results from cars needing to stop at stoplights, not from insufficient road capacity."

There are only three stoplights on ECR in Atherton. The backup occurs solely from the two lane constriction in Menlo Park.


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:21 pm

First, let me express my condolences to his family. Next, I have concern for the driver. She will live with this tragedy forever whether not it was her fault. The knee-jerk reaction of some posters is unfair. The assumption that a driver is always to blame is incorrect. You just do not know what happened or at what speed she was traveling. What were the actual circumstances? Do you know? No, you do not! A witness says the man ran onto the road and that she was not speeding, yet few posters here have acknowledged that point.

Atherton streets have no sidewalks and so have no protection for the many runners and pedestrians using them. Atherton residents have opposed traffic lights. I would urge residents to consider the need for safety and agree to traffic lights and sidewalks. Doing that would remove the need for the other solutions being promoted here.

Get traffic lights Atherton; you are not a rural community anymore!


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Posted by Observer
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:22 pm

This is a terrible tragedy for the victim's family and friends, and all of us in this community. We can ALL agree that there have been way too many injuries and fatalities along this stretch of road, and it behooves the City of Atherton to look closely at installing at least one traffic signal along ECR between Encinal and Fair Oaks/Atherton Avenue.

My driving route requires me to make a left turn from Watkins onto ECR at least 6 times a day at various hours and I often feel as if I'm taking my life in my hands. It's very easy to misjudge the speed of the drivers traveling on the other side of the divider.

I must take issue, however, with the vitriol directed at "Athertonians" expressed by some posters during this debate.

For example: from Menlo Oldtimer: "It appears that this is a purposeful strategy of Athertonians to oppose sidewalks so no passerby will linger in Atherton. Of course that puts their maids and landscapers at risk getting off the bus or bicycle, but perhaps that is unimportant to Athertonians."

To suggest that our entire community opposes sidewalks or other foot-and bike-traffic friendly measures because we don't want to encourage passers-by to linger is ludicrous and irresponsible. You might be surprised to learn that some of us (dare I say MANY OF US) are not the heartless xenophobes you make us out to be, and we want Atherton to be welcoming and safe for everyone--our children, your children and everyone who travels our streets.


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Posted by observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Isn't there a stoplight and protected crosswalk one block south at Encinal that the pedestrian could have used if ECR was too dangerous to cross?


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Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

I disagree that the backup is due to lane constriction. The backup is due to traffic lights. Even if it didn't go down to two lanes after Valparaiso, the stop lights every block slow traffic down at Valparaiso, at Oak Grove, at Santa Cruz, at Ravenswood, at Roble, and so forth.

I know this from driving through Menlo Park at 11pm or even later, when traffic is extremely light. There are very few cars on the road, but the traffic lights still slow things down. They are not timed so that if you are going 35 you won't hit a red. Having a third lane is irrelevant when the lights are timed the way they are.

I'm not suggesting we get rid of traffic lights. I'm suggesting that the third lane is not the panacea to traffic on El Camino.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Here is actual data on capacity per lane:
"Endogenous impact of the number of lanes on average capacity per lane of highway was
found to be statistically significant. We surveyed three highway segments with the scenes of
two, three and four lane cases. The conclusions show that average capacity per lane on
highway is 2104, 1971 and 1848 PCU, respectively."

Yes the marginal value of an additional lane is lower than that of the previous lanes but three lanes carry 3x1971 cars or 5913 cars on three lanes vs 4208 cars on two lanes.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Three lanes AND synchronized traffic lights together make a huge difference. I can drive all the way through Palo Alto on ECR in less time than I can transit Menlo Park and Atherton - even though the Palo Alto distance is twice as long.


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Posted by Chas Ramorino
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

I have lived in this area for 50 years. I drive this section of ECR about 4 to 6 times a day, at the speed limit. It is normal for other drivers to speed past me and cut me off, and give me a dirty look because I was in their way. I think the Police dept should expand their activity in this section of ECR.


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Posted by dharma
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Witness - thank you for sharing one of the only fact based comments on our beloved blog.
[The pedestrian ran across a very busy section of the road and the driver simply didn't see him. ]
Some years ago I witnessed a pair of young women dash across an intersection in early evening j;ust after the light turned against them. While I driver stared in disbelief at the first, he hit the second at about 10 mph. She was thrown twenty feet. [Portion removed; don't make implications about how the accident happened; the police are still investigating.]
As witness said, a tragedy for all involved.


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Posted by dharma
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Thank you also Peter C for contributing rational fact.


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Atherton crosswalks of all cities are visually challenging for drivers, the trees are beautiful and the three lanes are wide when you add the other three lanes that a driver is responsible for watching that is a lot. This is where law enforcement and some signs for safety education could benefit both drivers and pedestrians. If drivers knew that they were going to get a ticket for driving through a crosswalk that has a person in it, that would be a start. Warning to people crossing you are responsible for your safety, make eye contact with drivers. We have seen many times being in the crosswalk does not mean you are safe.

So sorry for the loss of life, and for the changed life of the driver.


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Posted by Detective Hall
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Detective Hall is a registered user.

The Atherton Police Department wants to speak with anyone who might have seen this collision. If you witnessed the collision, please contact Officer TJ Boyle at 650-688-6500. Likewise, if you know of someone who witnessed this event, please have them call Officer Boyle. Thank you.


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Posted by Manlo Punk
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 24, 2014 at 4:53 pm

It astounds me that Atherton residents can summon the FBI for gafitti that was probably the work of bored out of their mind teens, yet people can be killed and god forbid they do anything to protect people from an ongoing, dangerous situation. Anything that makes any sense, that is.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
21 hours ago
Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I encourage Atherton residents to appear before the Town Council and demand traffic lights at a number of ECR crossings in Atherton.

Their next meeting is September 17, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Council Chambers


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Posted by reality about ECR
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Atherton in reality has very little to do with El Camino Real. It does provide traffic enforement along with other jurisdiction. ECR is a state route and the California State legislature mandate Caltrans the task of maintaining and providing safety features, traffic light etc. Atherton can only provide input and can deal with some of the signage and like on the Atherton streets that abut ECR. So you can beat up on Atherton all you want but it is an activity that is misplaced as Caltrans if the government body who decides and can act.

Here is what Atherton is currently studying and promoting with Calttans:

Web Link


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Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 24, 2014 at 6:35 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Interesting that a driver of 17 is automatically assumed to be speeding!!
Not the case here. How about Atherton putting in Crosswalks and lights! Lot of bull and nasty letters to the state, but what has Atherton done about the problem. ECR is a state highway but what has Atherton actually done to correct the problems?? Can't do much about people with total disregard for their own safety.


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Posted by Fishy
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm

There's something pretty strange here. I know "Detevtive Hall" has now all but cleared this teenager, but unless the victim jumped out in front of her car, or she wasn't paying attention, how could this have happened? There is more to this story. Texting and driving, anyone? Detective Hall should have ways to check in this hypothesis.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Given that the Atherton Town Council does not have a regular meeting scheduled until Sept 17 here is the manner in which a Special Meeting may be called:

"Special meetings may be called at any time by the mayor, or by three members of the city council, or by a petition bearing a minimum of one hundred signatures of adult residents of the town. (Ord. 382, 1980: Ord. 344 Ch. 1(e) § 1, 1976)"

Perhaps if there is enough outrage then the Council will hold a Special Meeting to address the single issue of improved safety on ECR.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Peter:

there will be no outrage for two reasons.

1. most of Atherton is gone on vacation.

2. if the citizens of Atherton wanted sidewalks and lights they would have insisted long ago that they be installed. They haven't have they?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Council Member Widmer has tonight called for a Special Meeting of the Atherton Town Council to discuss improved safety on ECR.


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Posted by zitoa
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jul 24, 2014 at 11:41 pm

here we go

can anyone say elections in november


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Posted by S
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 25, 2014 at 1:29 am

My God. The loss of this handsome, loving, gifted young man is a tragedy. The family of the victim is inconsolable. He had lived only 32 years. His life hadn't even begun. He was killed instantly. They tried to keep him alive for hours. It was futile. Why did this have to happen? So Atherton can be considered "rural?! Does it need to be your child, son, brother, cousin, friend, husband or blood for this to change?

He was 100 yards away from his house. Yet he'll never see his house again.

Please if you know anything about this accident, or witnessed it, email intothemusic1 at g-mail.


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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 25, 2014 at 5:51 am

Condolences to the victim's family & friends. This is another example, unfortunately, for the need for an additional traffic signal or two in Atherton.

CalTrans does not adequately maintain the edges of the El Camino roadway either, increasing the hazards for cyclists & pedestrian using #92. Since there is already a setback between the paved road & the mostly rear yard fencing of abutting homes, why can't CalTrans extend the paving on the west side of ECR to allow a safer pathway?

Signal timing could also be changed. Currently, a speed of 42 mph lets motorists cruise from MP to RC without ever hitting a red light. Why 42 mph in a 35 mph zone? It's been this way since I first started driving El Camino in the 1960's.

El Camino Real is a state highway. Local governments do everything they can to increase local housing density which increases traffic. Eliminating a lane makes no sense and certainly won't make it any less dangerous for pedestrians & cyclists to cross. Re-timing the existing signals would help. Please put in a couple of signals, even if they're the type which allow pedestrians to push a button to activate a stop for ECR traffic long enough so they can cross safely.


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Posted by Betsy
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Jul 25, 2014 at 7:47 am

I used to ride my bike along Alejandra and then cross at El Camino and then return the same way. I say "used to" because I was nearly hit twice. In both cases, I was walking my bike in the crosswalk (heading west) when a car in the southbound "fast" lane stopped for me. In both occasions, a car in the southbound "slow" lane simply ignored the car that had already stopped and plowed through. The first time I was stunned because I was inches away from being hit; the second time I realized I wasn't going to continue to be that vulnerable. No more bike riding for me in that area.


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Posted by businessdecision
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 25, 2014 at 11:26 am

Pedestrians would hate this but... pedestrian overcrossings - might have to consider them.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 25, 2014 at 11:30 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Studies have shown that many pedestrians will not use an overpass or underpass if they can cross at street level in about the same amount of time. Overpasses work best when the topography allows for a structure without ramps, such as an overpass over a sunken highway."

"Overpasses (excluding bridges) have a range from $150 to $250 per square foot or $1,073,000 to $5,366,000 per complete installation, depending on site conditions. "


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Posted by businessdecision
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 25, 2014 at 11:45 am

If they see an overpass they will at least know how dangerous it is to cross, if they can't tell just by looking.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I think we can do better than turning the decision of how to cross ECR into a Darwinian selection process.


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Posted by fwiw
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Having long ago lived in the vicinity of a pedestrian over-crossing, I can confidently say that all it takes to virtually assure usage compliance is a rudimentary fence for a modest distance in the affected area.

Such an over-crossing would of course require ramps which could be switch-backed, but the vast majority would use stairs if provided.

That was my experience, anyway. I can't speak to costs, but then in most other government safety tradeoffs, the public has seen the benefit of funding at least $8M/life saved, such as the cost of fitting public school buses with seat belts.


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Posted by fwiw
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm

btw, meant to say fence at the center divide


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Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

Those kinds of overpasses work better on expressways or freeways where you don't have cross streets. It's not feasible to run a fence down the middle of El Camino, cars have to be able to turn left. From the dollar amounts Peter Carpenter is providing (which I don't question) a couple of traffic lights would be cheaper.

It's probably going to take someone suing Caltrans over the current crosswalks which provide the illusion of safety but actually are terribly unsafe before anything happens to improve this terrible situation.


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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm

From the web link -

"Mr. Rahimzadeh had been crossing El Camino Real at Almendral Avenue in Atherton on foot from east to west, Sgt. Sherman Hall told the Almanac. He was struck in the southbound slow lane by a Volvo S40 driven by a 17-year-old girl from San Carlos."

A couple of posters cite "witnesses" to imply that the man "jumped out" in front of the driver. Please rethink this. He was crossing from east to west & the driver was in the slow (far right) southbound lane. The pedestrian had already successfully crossed 5 lanes before being hit in the 6th. That is different than jumping out in front of a car, especially if he was in the crosswalk.




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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 25, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"City Manager's Office

Posted on: July 25, 2014
State Highway Route 82 - El Camino Real

Our deepest sympathies to the family of Shahriar Rahimzadeh as they deal with the aftermath of this tragic accident. Through the news media and other venues, many have let their emotions rise to the surface as they discuss the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. This is natural. The circumstances surrounding the accident remain under investigation by the Police Department and the Town is not able at this time to discuss the details. However, in light of the ongoing discussion about improvements to State Highway, Route 82, El Camino Real, we are providing the attached background information on current conditions as well as the status of proposed or planned improvements. The Town has proposed and will continue to pursue improvements along the portion of El Camino Real that runs through the Town's boundaries. This recent tragedy is another reason the Town will not be letting up its pressure on Caltrans to speed up the development process for proposed projects along the corridor."

Web Link


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jul 25, 2014 at 3:41 pm

My heart goes out to the family of the man killed, he was just trying to get where he was going a bit faster. If traffic is an issue and safe walkways are needed for people who may walk and jog the area, then the city should get more walkways (I like the pedestrian overpass idea)

I feel so bad for the girl who hit this man, she is a beautiful very smart and promising young student, so new to life and to have this happen to her is a tragedy she will have memory of the rest of her life.

Prayers to both familes.


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Posted by June Curran
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 25, 2014 at 3:42 pm

"We're looking at the speed and that kind of stuff," Sgt. Hall said. "So far, we're not able to place (Mr. Rahimzadeh) in the crosswalk."

This is very sad. All blessings and prayers to Mr. Rahimzadeh's parents and family, friends and loved ones.

Has it been determined finally that he was - or was not in the crosswalk? And is it true that there was no sun in the driver's eyes? There is only morning sun in that vicinity, correct? And the driver was in the slow lane proceeding south...............

So sad. When we walk in crosswalks, we have to be so very careful, because cars just may not see us..........


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Posted by Regina R
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 25, 2014 at 4:24 pm

I am a life-long resident of Atherton and I completely agree that the residents are completely "delusional" as one of the other posters stated. Almost 20 years ago, there was a proposal to place a stop light at the end of West Selby. Local restaurants were hugely in favor of this (Fabbro's, which is now John Bentleys was one I know for sure supported this plan) There is also a school on that street, with students crossing El Camino daily. The residents went crazy and shut it down. One actually said that it ruined the "ambiance" of the neighborhood. These are the same people who disturb the peace every single day with construction noise, mowers and blowers, etc. Honestly, if I want some peace and quiet, I leave our "rual community" and head to Redwood City. It has become a total joke here.


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Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 25, 2014 at 6:20 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

amen!!


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 25, 2014 at 6:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is clear that Atherton needs to do something to stop the carnage on ECR and that waiting for CalTrans to act means that nothing will happen in the near future.

My wife and I will pledge $10,000.00 for the installation of traffic lights with emergency vehicle preemptors at the Atherton intersections on ECR. This pledge does not include support for pedestrian beacons which are totally ineffective and actually dangerous on a multi-lane highway.

I am confident that if other Atherton residents are made aware of the opportunity to support traffic lights with emergency vehicle preemptors at the Atherton intersections on ECR that this project could be funded in short order.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 25, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Peter:

I applaud your actions and pledge, but I doubt that other Athertonians will pledge enough to make this happen. If they wanted it to happen, action could have been initiated long ago.

I'd love to be proven wrong.


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Posted by Jan
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2014 at 4:55 am

I am very sorry for the families of Rahimzadeh. It is a very very sad situation. To be away 100 yard away from your home and be struck as a pedestrian crossing. I wish the police would share the information if the 17 year old driver was speeding, texting or talking on the phone. So many young people text while driving and that is so dangerous and irresponsible. One life is lost and one changed forever.


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Posted by fwiw
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 26, 2014 at 11:55 am

> I wish the police would share the information if the 17 year old driver was speeding, texting or talking on the phone.

Good grief, stop already. It's an ongoing investigation and if some illegal behavior is evidenced, it will come out.

Rushing to uninformed speculation in a case where another individual was apparently crossing at a challenging crossing to start with is simply unfair regardless of that individual's age.

I don't know the families involved, but my heart goes out to both for the awful circumstances.


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Posted by Stick to logic
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm

No, it is reasonable to try to come to some understanding of whether the girl contributed to this accident (texting, phone use, or is totally blameless - I don't know), the victim was partially negligent (I understand multiple eyewitnesses said he had assumed a track and field sprint-like position), or it is all the fault of not having a traffic light IF this accident is going to be used as a rationale for spearheading major changes to traffic controls.

(And yes, sympathy to everyone, but changes need to be based on logic...maybe it is all the fault of the lack of traffic light, maybe not).


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Posted by fwiw
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 26, 2014 at 1:16 pm

> No, it is reasonable to try to come to some understanding....

Sure, there is a time for everything, and understanding the issues is fine. But every one of these items will be explored by the appropriate authorities. Innuendo and second hand accounts about what you heard from somebody who heard something from somebody who may or may not reliably know something is not useful, fair, nor appropriate. Idle conjecture is especially dubious because at this point no authority has given the least suggestion that the drive did anything inappropriate whatsoever.

There is a certain guilt by association that I feel has a nasty tendency dissolve into outright slander. Somebody reads the question and it gets quoted as though it was the truth of what happened.

Jeez. Have a little respect.


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Posted by Menlo Parent
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 26, 2014 at 3:26 pm

It is great to read the link about what CALTRANS has actually proposed for El Camino Real through Atherton. As it may take several years for highway construction to occur (assuming no funding, environmental or permitting issues) what can occur now to make this roadway safer? Is there any shuttle service, such as the Stanford Marguerite type bus that pedestrians could take through this area? We don't let our kids ride bikes down ECR after all the accidents, but the worry about SAMTRANS is that once one gets off the bus, you again have to walk down ECR to a crosswalk to get across from where the bus dropped you. It would be great if posters could come up with some suggestions for safety that could occur immediately.


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Posted by Agnes Brydges
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 26, 2014 at 6:32 pm

More traffic lights, and extra lights, sidewalks, etc. are not going to be the quick fix for situations like this. Just this week, count how many unfortunate people lost their lives, or were seriously injured in San Jose and Sunnyvale, by being in the street (sometimes in cross walks, sometimes not). The point is, you take your life into your hands when you cross a busy street, or when you walk in the roadway (jaywalking or running). All the money we could spend to make ECR less 'rural'. Look at San Jose and Sunnyvale, with plenty of lights, plenty of signals, plenty of places for pedestrians to walk, and look how many incidents just this week. I myself as a young girl have been guilty of jaywalking across ECR countless times. I was just luckier than some, and I watched and waited for traffic to be completely clear. Crosswalk or no crosswalk, crossing a big wide street is dangerous, but so is being on a little two lane road sometimes.


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Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

so that means do nothing?


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Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 27, 2014 at 2:37 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Peter C & Mrs.: Very nice gift. Something needs to be done.


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Posted by trsice
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Jul 28, 2014 at 7:29 am

I personally know the young lady who hit the man, and know her version. She was not speeding. She was in the far right lane, 2 vehicles were ahead of her, side by side in the fast lane and the middle lane. The gentleman ran from the median, the 2 vehicles blocked her view of him and the 2 vehicles blocked his view of her car. No way she could have avoided him.

There does seem to be a long stretch of road without crosswalds. I am not sure how to avoid future accidents like this traffic one.

She is so traumatized by the events. She is suppose to leave for college next month. My prayers are with the young mans family and her.


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Posted by trsice
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Jul 28, 2014 at 7:33 am

Nor was she on her phone. I was just an unfortunate accident. She NEVER saw him he just appeared from behind the vehicle in the middle lane. She was not doing anything but looking at the road.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 7:56 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"The gentleman ran from the median, the 2 vehicles blocked her view of him and the 2 vehicles blocked his view of her car."

This is exactly why street level flashing lights on a multi-lane highway are a very bad idea. The "yellow flashing" pavement markers do NOT work on a multi-lane highway. Drivers approaching such markers on a multi-lane highway have their view of the crosswalk blocked by vehicles in adjacent lanes. The law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk BUT that means they must first see the pedestrian. Flashing yellow means caution and does not require a driver to stop.

Here is the vehicle code:
21457. Whenever an illuminated flashing red or yellow light is used
in a traffic signal or with a traffic sign, it shall require
obedience by drivers as follows:
(a) Flashing red (stop signal): When a red lens is illuminated
with rapid intermittent flashes, a driver shall stop at a clearly
marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the
near side of the intersection, or if none, then at the point nearest
the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching
traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it, and the
driver may proceed subject to the rules applicable after making a
stop at a stop sign.
(b) Flashing yellow (caution signal): When a yellow lens is
illuminated with rapid intermittent flashes, a driver may proceed
through the intersection or past the signal only with caution."


Therefore the only way to actually protect pedestrian crosswalks on a multi-lane highway is with traffic signals that use a red light to require drivers to STOP. Flashing yellow light create a totally false sense of security for both pedestrians and drivers.


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Posted by trisci
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Jul 28, 2014 at 8:13 am

He was not in a crosswalk


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 8:19 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is how San Francisco responded to a similar situation:
"Notorious Sunset Boulevard Intersection To Get New Traffic Signal
Posted by Tom Prete on 7/27/14 • Categorized as Local News

Sunset Boulevard and Yorba Street pedestrian crosswalk signal
New traffic signals and pedestrian crosswalk signals are ready for the notoriously dangerous intersection at Sunset Boulevard and Yorba Street. Photo: Tom Prete / Ocean Beach Bulletin
New traffic signals are set to come on line Monday at Sunset Boulevard and Yorba Street, a notoriously dangerous intersection where pedetrians have been killed and injured.

The new signals at Sunset Boulevard at Yorba Street come just a few months after a man was struck and killed by a car while crossing Sunset there, and other pedestrians have been hit and injured. In May, a nearby resident described the safety situation at the intersection as "ridiculous" after a woman was injured in a collision there.

"It happens again and again," the neighbor told the Ocean Beach Bulletin.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and District 4 Supervisor Katy Tang will officially activate the new signals at an event scheduled for 12:30 Monday afternoon, where Lee also is scheduled to sign paperwork to put a $500 million transportation infrastructure bond on the November ballot.

The activation of the new traffic and crosswalk signals also closely follows a City move to reduce the speed limit on Sunset Boulevard from 35 miles per hour to 30 mph. Signs showing the new speed limit already have been posted on Sunset, but observation of traffic shows that the new speed limit apparently has not resolved ongoing issues with the Sunset signals not being synchronized with each other and with some drivers speeding from one intersection to the next in an attempt to get ahead of the lights"


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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2014 at 10:10 am

Michael G. Stogner is a registered user.

Peter, very nice offer, from you and your wife.

I see the difference in systems now,

APD has not placed him in the crosswalk when struck as far as I can tell.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 10:15 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I am disappointed in the Town of Atherton's response to Council Member Widmer's request for a Special Meeting - the Town Manager simply sent out a memo detailing what the Town has previously done. As this death shows the no actions and lots of words to date have not solved the problem.

In my opinion elected and appointed officials are expected to lead and to act - not just write memos.

How many deaths will it take before traffic lights are installed at a number of ECR intersections in Atherton?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"El Camino Real is the deadliest street in the San Francisco Bay Area for pedestrians, according to a review of traffic fatalities conducted by the Center for Investigative Reporting in April. Of the 59 people killed in traffic collisions on the street between 2002 and 2011, 37 — about two-thirds — were pedestrians. In comparison, only 22 percent of the 2,791 people killed in car crashes statewide in 2011 were pedestrians, according to Caltrans data."

"The Bay Area also stands out from the rest of the country in pedestrians being killed in crosswalks. More than a third of the 434 who died during those five years were hit in legal crossing spots, CIR found – about three times the national average.

More than a third of those deadly crosswalks are marked only with paint on the pavement, lacking any additional warning for drivers, such as a stoplight, stop sign or flashing lights. "

But the Town Council and CalTrans will just keep fiddling while the carnage continues.


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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 28, 2014 at 12:45 pm

While it's nowhere near a complete solution Caltrans could place clusters of small speed bumps and signs on southbound ECR beginning at Fifth Avenue, forcing traffic to slow down in a manner similar to that used on the Bay Bridge during the construction of its new span.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Speed bumps are very damaging to fire engines and would probably not be approved by the Fire District. And such speed bumps are prohibited on a state highway. What Caltrans used on the Bay Bridge were so-called rumble strips which created an alerting noise and vibration but did not cause the vehicles to move up and down.


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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 28, 2014 at 12:57 pm

trisci-

"Nor was she on her phone. I was just an unfortunate accident. She NEVER saw him he just appeared from behind the vehicle in the middle lane. She was not doing anything but looking at the road."

This statement merely adds to the confusion (& you're not helping your friend) when you say he popped up suddenly behind the car in the lane right next to & ahead of her. Drivers eventually learn to look at lanes next to them as well as their own, we hope, and use brake pedals.

Perhaps she is blameless, but we'll never get to hear his side of it, will we?


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Posted by Las Lomitas District Parent
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Jul 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm

I know I could look this up somewhere but dashing this off before jumping into a meeting at work. I believe there are some circumstances where crossing outside of a crosswalk is legal; I think it might depend how far the distance is between crosswalks. The calls for a pedestrian over-crossing will not solve the problem. People will not go out of their way to find the over-crossing (or crosswalk for that matter) if it's out of their way. There needs to be more traffic lights and even more crosswalks to encourage marked crossing. Not sure how to protect the latter if the flashing protection is proven not to work.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 28, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

One can only not cross a street outside of a crosswalk between two signalized intersections. Commonly referred to as "J walking." It is legal to cross a street outside of a crosswalk as long as "it is safe to do so." There is one signal controlled intersection in Atherton at Atherton ave. There is a signal at Encinal, but that intersection is shared with Menlo Park. There is also a signal at 5th Ave. This too is shared. Between those signals there are multiple intersections without signals making it legal to cross anywhere along El Camino between Encinal and 5th.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Note that:
"For bicycles, the San Mateo County Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (September 2011) does not identify State Route 82 (El Camino Real/Mission Street) as a primary north-south bike route, with the exception of a proposed Class III bike route1 on Mission Street in Daly City."


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Posted by Trsice
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Jul 28, 2014 at 2:26 pm

First of all downtowner it is trsice! I was exhausted when I wrote that comment. I was merely responding to people's post assuming she was speeding, using her phone, distracted or careless. She did absolutely nothing wrong. He appeared from in front of the car in the lane next to her. Based on people's posts, it is apparent to me they were interested in how it happened! So now you know! You are the only one who seems confused!


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Posted by EasyDoesIt
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Interesting that when an octogenarian hits someone, the community starts screaming to ban elderly drivers, but when a teenager hits, and kills, someone, everyone blames the street.

Yes, that section of El Camino should be made safer for pedestrians with an added traffic signal or two, and maybe a slower speed limit, but the fact remains that people manage to avoid hitting pedestrians and bicyclists--even those who jump out in front of them unsafely--because the drivers are paying attention, and they are not moving too fast to stop in a hurry.

[The police investigation is ongoing; don't speculate about who was at fault.]

I agree with Peter Carpenter that a so-called "road diet," depriving drivers of a lane in each direction, would be disastrous, cause gridlock, make things even less safe than they are now, and impinge on the mobility of fire trucks in emergencies.


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Posted by EasyDoesIt
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 28, 2014 at 3:24 pm

[Post removed. The police investigation is ongoing; don't speculate about who was at fault.]


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Posted by Emily
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 28, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Condolences to the victim's family. We witnessed the tragic scene just minutes later and found we live only a few houses down from the victim's family on Almendral. The victim was walking the crosswalk because the car was stopped just a few feet past the crosswalk and there was a puddle of blood in the crosswalk. [The police investigation is ongoing, and police have been unable to ascertain that the victim was in the crosswalk; don't speculate about who was at fault.]


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Posted by Menlo Parent
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 28, 2014 at 5:35 pm

We went by to leave a flower at the memorial but could not get across the street, because of the obvious dangers. There is a reason highway 101 does not allow cyclists or pedestrians on the side of the road, and it is for safety. Many people seem to be talking this issue as well as posting here. I think it would be great if Mr Peter Carpenter takes out papers to run for the Atherton City Council, he seems to be a voice of sanity on this forum. Please remember that this is not just an Atherton issue, that many residents from Redwood City, to Menlo Park, to Palo Alto, just to name a few also use this roadway.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 28, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"I think it would be great if Mr Peter Carpenter takes out papers to run for the Atherton City Council, he seems to be a voice of sanity on this forum."

Thank you for the compliment.

As an elected Director of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District the law prohibits me from also serving as an elected official of any of the communities which are served by the Fire District.

I hope that there will be growing outrage that the Atherton Town Council is taking a vacation until Sept 17 rather than meeting, hearing from the community and taking action to do its part to deal with this issue.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Sorry Peter, but I don't think there will be any outrage. Most Atherton residents are on vacation just like their council and if anyone wanted to do anything about this problem it could have been addressed long, long ago.

My prediction: a lot of words and platitudes followed by zip. God forbid reality interfere with Atherton's "rural character." One only needs to look at what happened when an aircraft started flying over Atherton with more frequency than before. Some described it as "torment." Can you say totally disconnected from reality?


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Posted by Mystified
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm

There are many things going on here. Some people are using this tragedy for their political agenda. Then another poster, Trsice, keeps coming on and speaking for the person who caused the accident. Trsice, seems to know many details about that afternoon, it wasn't dark, the cars in the other lanes were stopped, but the individual just appeared in the slow lane by Trsice's FRIEND's car. The friend is also going away to school and is sad. What gives? Please let the authorities announce what is really going on here, so people won't keep playing amateur detective with a tragedy.


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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Tr etc " Posted by trisci, a resident of ____ " Please don't insult me for spelling your name wrong - you did it too! In your 3rd post."

I responded to your statement that the victim appeared from behind the car in the middle lane. Now you change & say in front - who knows? Not you. You weren't there but someone else who was there saw a blood pool in the crosswalk. I repeat, you are not helping your friend by making conflicting statements based only on what she told you. If you saw the accident, make a police report.


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Posted by EasyDoesIt
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Trsice wrote:
"I personally know the young lady who hit the man, and know her version. She was not speeding. She was in the far right lane, 2 vehicles were ahead of her, side by side in the fast lane and the middle lane. The gentleman ran from the median, the 2 vehicles blocked her view of him and the 2 vehicles blocked his view of her car."

In other words, those two cars were stopped at the intersection. That's why she didn't see him. Experienced drivers know that if you see one or more cars stopped at an intersection where's there's no traffic signal, you approach slowly with caution and stop when you get there, at least until you can see what's going on that caused the other drivers to stop.


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Posted by Downtowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 28, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Thank you, Peter Carpenter -

"For bicycles, the San Mateo County Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (September 2011) does not identify State Route 82 (El Camino Real/Mission Street) as a primary north-south bike route, with the exception of a proposed Class III bike route1 on Mission Street in Daly City."

I didn't know this. Is there any designated north-south bike route? There should be! What is the best way to get SMC & Caltrans to communicate about this & move toward improving safety?

Thanks for your input.


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Posted by Another resident
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 29, 2014 at 9:46 am

Another resident is a registered user.

EasyDoesIt, that is pure speculation on your part and is still being investigated.

As others have stated above that he was NOT in a crosswalk and was sprinting across the road. Just because other cars did see him and stopped, does NOT mean he was in the crosswalk. We also don't know how suddenly they may have stopped. Please leave that to police to investigate. Being presumptuous when you were not a witness, helps no one.

Yes we know experienced drivers, tend to know where to look at all times. At the age of 17, clearly it's a fact that she will not have the driving experience of an older driver. That is not what is in question, albeit may or may not have been the sole underlying reason.

I too, know the young woman in question. She is one of the kindest, sweetest, responsible, intelligent young women I know. She graduated with honors and should be going off to college in a few weeks. As Trsice stated above, she is completely devastated and traumatized about this horrific accident. She has said from the start she just wanted to tell his family how she is so sorry that this has happened.

As another actual witness stated above, the man was sprinting across the road, was not in the crosswalk, she was not speeding, nor on her phone. She just did not see him until the second before he hit her car.

As I was not there either and do not know what actually transpired, this is in the hands of the police investigation.

My prayers and condolences are with the young man's family and friends.

I hope and pray for the driver, as well. She will never ever forget this happened and as a young woman with her life ahead of her, I hope she obtains the help needed to cope with this tragic event.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 29, 2014 at 10:28 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I would like to summarize my recommendations having researched the vehicle code, what is done elsewhere on ECR and how other communities deal with pedestrian and bicycle access and safety:

1 - Add 2 pedestrian activated traffic lights at Almendral and at Watkins,

2 - synchronize all of the traffic lights on ECR from Highway 84 to the Palo Alto border at the 35 mph speed limit,

3 - narrow the six lanes to 11 ft each but keep 6 lanes from Highway 84 to the Palo Alto border,
Highway Design Manual "For conventional State highways with posted speeds less than or equal to 40 miles per hour and AADTT (truck volume) less than 250 per lane that are in urban, city or town centers (rural main streets), the minimum lane width shall be 11 feet."

4 - use the space gained from the narrowed lanes plus the existing unused right of way to create a protected bicycle path on both sides of ECR.
Highway Design Manual "Class II bikeways (bike lanes), for the preferential use of bicycles, may be established within the roadbed and shall be located immediately adjacent to a traffic lane as allowed in this manual. The minimum Class II bike lane width shall be 4 feet"

Note: My personal preference is to NOT encourage bicycles on ECR unless they can be safely separated from other traffic, i.e. a Class I bikeway as specified in the Highway Design Manual: "1003.1 Class I Bikeways (Bike Paths) Class I bikeways (bike paths) are facilities with exclusive right of way, with cross flows by vehicles minimized. Class I bikeways, unless adjacent to an adequate pedestrian facility, (see Index 1001.3(n)) are for the exclusive use of bicycles and pedestrians, therefore any facility serving pedestrians must meet accessibility requirements."

Unfortunately the current ECR right of way is not wide enough to accommodate a Class I bikeway/sidewalk and there are very few parallel routes to ECR in the Atherton area that offer a good bicycle alternative).

5 - Have these changes in place within 12 months at the latest.


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Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 29, 2014 at 11:36 am

pogo is a registered user.

Another Resident -

Well said. There is not a shred of evidence of any wrongdoing by the young driver.

I have been driving for many years and I often seen pedestrians - in and not in crosswalks - suddenly emerge from between cars (which may be stopped or not). Unless you just happen to observe those pedestrians crossing the street well in advance of their appearance, you may not see them until they are nearly on your front fender. I used to see this almost everyday on Middlefield Road between the Costco and 5th Avenue in Redwood City before they installed the flashing crosswalk signals.

As Mr. Carpenter has said, traffic light signals are preferred to flashing crosswalks on a busy roadway like El Camino Real. Mr. Carpenter has made an incredibly generous offer and citizens should be grateful and embrace the opportunity. I would hope that Atherton and Caltrans (who is responsible for this state highway) can provide some long overdue safety measures for pedestrians.

As you said so aptly, this is a tragedy for the parties and my heart goes out to both families. Let's withhold accusations until the investigation is over.


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Posted by elroy56
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm

elroy56 is a registered user.

Hello, yesterday my wife and I saw flowers outside of the victims parents home so today we brought a bouquet for them. Our hearts really break for them and understand their pain...because we also lost our son at age 7, but due to an illness. When we dropped off the bouquet we spoke to a man who was on his way into the house. He said the parents were grieving but very grateful for the support and thanked us many times. [Portion removed. Please don't speculate on what someone may or may not have done and what may have happened.]


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

[Portion deleted because it's a response to a deleted comment.]

[Portion removed. Please don't speculate on what may or may not have happened.]

It is still an ongoing investigation and the findings have not been released. As a driver that puts in 35,000 mile a year I can tell you people do lots of illogical things that cause accidents. You can't make an assumption on what you think is "logical."


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Posted by elroy56
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 29, 2014 at 2:00 pm

elroy56 is a registered user.

[Please don't speculate in Town Square on what you think may have happened.]


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 29, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

California law protects an apology from being used against the person who apologizes:

"California Evidence Code Section 1160. (a) The portion of statements, writings, or benevolent
gestures expressing sympathy or a general sense of benevolence
relating to the pain, suffering, or death of a person involved in an
accident and made to that person or to the family of that person
shall be inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability in a
civil action. A statement of fault, however, which is part of, or in
addition to, any of the above shall not be inadmissible pursuant to
this section.
(b) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Accident" means an occurrence resulting in injury or death to
one or more persons which is not the result of willful action by a
party.
(2) "Benevolent gestures" means actions which convey a sense of
compassion or commiseration emanating from humane impulses.
(3) "Family" means the spouse, parent, grandparent, stepmother,
stepfather, child, grandchild, brother, sister, half brother, half
sister, adopted children of parent, or spouse's parents of an injured
party."


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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