Do you ever feel like a moving target walking through some parts of the local community?
I spend a fair amount of time on foot around downtown Danville, usually with one of those ubiquitous brightly colored BOB strollers loaded with kids.
There are places I commonly navigate that make my heart rate rise, in equal parts fear and outrage.
For me, crossing the southbound Interstate 680 Diablo Road exit off ramp has caused more than my fair share of mini heart attacks.
While there is a crosswalk signal across the section where vehicles wait to turn left, there isn’t one for the merge lane for vehicles turning right onto Diablo Road.
Vehicles fly down the off ramp, and a combination of factors make it hazardous if a pedestrian and/or motorist is not paying adequate attention.
The corner has poor visibility and because it is a merge and not a required stop, motorists are generally looking for who is coming from their left as they prepare to flow onto Diablo Road.
Also adding to the problem is that the crosswalk lines haven’t yet been repainted as part of the I-680 improvement project.
And, then there are the people who do see you but don’t yield to let you cross.
Many times I have been stuck on the island as cars came hurtling down the ramp from the freeway, waiting for someone to let my kids and I cross to the sidewalk, as they should according to California right-of-way rules.
I recently asked some of my local friends if they also felt unsafe anywhere around town. Some of the responses I received included:
“Walking the Iron Horse Trail and crossing the streets by Love Lane in particular. Three kids almost got hit there going to school at the beginning of September.”
“Crossings that are mid-block, such as across Front Street in front of the , and from in front of San Ramon Valley High School to La Gonda Way, come to mind. People don't understand that they're supposed to stop when the crosswalk lights are blinking.”
“Sycamore Valley Road — anywhere — don’t get me started.”
Some also expressed that they have places they are nervous behind the wheel as well:
“If you are driving on Prospect, and need to turn onto or go across Hartz Avenue, it's impossible to see if other cars are coming without going completely into the crosswalk. And then it puts the pedestrians in danger of getting hit because they don't have a crosswalk to use.”
Walking this week, I decided to bring my video camera along to capture five local hotspots (see attached video or click here) where caution is definitely in order based on personal experience and feedback.
What areas In Danville and Alamo make you nervous as a pedestrian, or as a motorist? Please post them on the map or list an address in the comments below.
To learn about how the Town addresses traffic safety, visit the Town’s website here.
Learn about California right-of-way rules for drivers here.