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City of Atherton Aims to Improve Crosswalk Safety, Prevent Accidents

By Kelly Balamuth on December 14, 2012

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) told the Atherton City Council that the El Camino-Selby Lane intersection, a hazardous intersection in the town, meets the criteria for the installation of a traffic signal. However, as city officials understand the urgent need for safer crosswalks, council enthusiasm was limited as members hoped that the state agency would present more information and options for the handful of Atherton crosswalks at non-signalized intersections that have been the scene of many bicycle and pedestrian accidents.

Bay Area Pedestrian Accident PreventionTown officials are wondering if Caltrans, as well as the town, may be able to finance other crosswalk improvements in addition to the traffic signal.

A Caltrans traffic operations division chief told the City Council that the agency is prepared to begin the process to signalize El Camino and Selby, but will also meet with town staff to create a plan to address crosswalk dangers. As a number of pedestrians have been injured at several non-signalized crosswalks in 1.6 mile stretch of roadway, the staff is also working with agency to determine the best location for what will likely be a pedestrian-activated overhead system at one intersection.

The City of Atherton has been studying the pedestrian and bicycle safety problems on El Camino for years, but efforts were increased earlier this year when two women were struck and severely injured in the crosswalk of El Camino and Isabella Ave. Studies are being conducted on additional safety options, such as narrowing the roadway from six lanes to four.

Caltrans estimates that the cost of the new traffic signal would be between $450,000 and $600,000 and would be split between the state agency and the town, with Atherton and San Mateo County each paying 25 percent.

The San Mateo County pedestrian accident lawyers of Balamuth Law applaud local and state efforts to improve pedestrian safety, but the negligent actions of another motorist are always the biggest threat to the safety of those on two wheels and two feet. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident caused by the carelessness of another party, call (888) 254-1234 to discuss your case with a member of our legal team and see how we can help you on the road to recovery.

Tips to Celebrate Halloween Safely in Northern California

By Kelly Balamuth on October 22, 2012

The fall season, which marks the transition from winter to summer, means falling temperatures, vibrant colored leaves, and the beginning of the holiday season. With the beginning of this cooler season in October also comes one of the most celebrated holidays of the year: Halloween. The Halloween holiday is observed with trick and treats for children and adults, decorative costumes, and ghoulish festivities, and this holiday may inspire you to watch a scary movie or decorate your home with frightening décor such as skeletons, ghosts, or cobwebs.

The personal injury law firm of Balamuth Law encourages families across California to celebrate safely on October 31 and follow these Halloween safety tips to ensure everyone will have a fun and happy Halloween.


To increase visibility at night, fasten reflective tape to bags and costumes to help motorists see you. Also, wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid a dangerous slip or trip and fall, and avoid a potential fire hazard by wearing flame resistant costumes. Accessories such as knives or swords should be soft and flexible, and lower your risk of an eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.


Practice pedestrian safety with your family by looking both ways before crossing a street and using established crosswalks, if available. Also, use sidewalks when possible, and avoid trick-or-treating alone; walk in groups or with a trusted adult. If your child is going out with friends, tell him or her to only visit well-lit houses, and do not enter a home unless there is an adult present.

Candy and Treats

Examine your child’s Halloween goodies for signs of tampering or choking hazards, and encourage your child to eat only factory-wrapped treats. Homemade treats made by strangers should not be eaten.

Dedication to the Rights of Injured Victims

The personal injury lawyers in Moraga of Balamuth Law hope these simple safety tips will help adults and children celebrate safely this year, but also know that the careless actions of another person may cause a dangerous accident. If you have been involved in an accident caused by the negligence of another party, call (888) 254-1234 for a consultation on your case. Balamuth Law would like to wish everyone a very safe and happy Halloween!

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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Moraga, California 94556
Phone: (925) 254-1234
Toll Free: (888) 254-1234

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