City to revisit tricky intersection

The Menlo Park City Council told city staff Jan. 27 to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to improve pedestrian safety at an intersection near Draeger's market where a woman was killed while crossing the street in 2003.

City staff suggested a raised crosswalk across Menlo Avenue at University Drive, along with increased wattage to the streetlight at the corner.

The council agreed with the plan to crank up the wattage.

But while Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson and Mayor Heyward Robinson favored the plan for raised sidewalks, calling it a relatively cheap solution that would increase safety, a majority of council members wanted city staff to take a harder look at the issue.

Rich Cline was skeptical that a raised crosswalk would improve the situation. Andy Cohen suggested a lighted crosswalk. And John Boyle, noting that there hadn't been any accidents at the intersection since the installation of striping and better signage in 2005, asked staff to poll Draeger's and residents in the area for their suggestions.


Posted by see the light, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 3, 2009 at 7:13 am

Better lighting at tnis and several other intersections is really important. As a very frequent visitor through this area in car, on foot, and on bike, I really worry about adding the confusion of a raised crosswalk. The lighting could be better, though.
Unfortunately, in-street lighting is not very effective. I have been in the crosswalk on Santa Cruz near the church, with cars whizzing by. In-street lighting would give already-careless shoppers a false sense of security. Many Draeger's shoppers simply enter the crosswalk now without even looking to see if the coast is clear. Even more might do so if they thought they were protected.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 3, 2009 at 1:53 pm

At least twice in recent memory, I've had to raise my hand and yell to get drivers' attention as I was crossing Menlo toward Draeger's. The drivers were heading towards me after I gave what I would consider adequate indication that I was entering the crosswalk. Their excuse: "I didn't see you."

Not good enough, not nearly good enough.

These people are in a hurry, and they see the stop sign and as a minor inconvenience. That's my guess. The complicated "double" crosswalk partly on an angle across University Drive doesn't help things.

This intersection needs warning lights activated by the pedestrian. The lights need to be mounted at drivers-eye level, not way up on a pole where they can be ignored or missed. The lights should spell "STOP" so there is a clear mandate for these jerks.

Posted by A Simple Solution That Will Be Ignored, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Feb 3, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Want to really put an end to it? Close that satellite parking lot and it's a done deal.

Of course, we know what would freeze over before that solution were ever implemented!

Instead, I'm sure there will be some draconian "all non-Draeger-going car drivers are bad" solution imposed so that the hoity-toity can shop at their favorite hoity-toity grocery store uninterupted.

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