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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.

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

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