News

Atherton installing pedestrian-activated stoplight where man was killed

Atherton resident was killed at El Camino crosswalk in 2014

A pedestrian-activated stoplight should be operating on El Camino at Almendral Avenue by the end of the summer, Atherton officials say.

The city decided to pay to install the stoplight after 32-year-old Atherton resident Shahriar Rahimzadeh was fatally injured in July 2014, crossing El Camino at Almendral.

City Manager George Rodericks said the light will cost $330,000, with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District paying half the cost.

Work has begin on installing the light, officially known as a pedestrian hybrid beacon, and some lanes will be closed at times. The town says any lane closures will be between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The light remains dark until a pedestrian or cyclist presses a button, which causes a cycle of blinking yellow, yellow, red and blinking red lights before going dark again.

The Menlo Park Fire Protection District helped pay for the light because it will be able to activate it from its Almendral fire station, making it easier for fire trucks to get onto El Camino.

Caltrans had previously agreed to install, at its cost, two similar stoplights on El Camino at Isabella and Alejandra avenues, sites of other serious and fatal accidents. However, despite political pressure from the town, Caltrans does not plan to install the stoplights until sometime in 2017.

The light at Almendral will be owned and maintained by Caltrans once it is installed. El Camino Real is a state highway.

A YouTube video of a similar stoplight can be viewed online.

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Comments

5 people like this
Posted by Workerbee in MP
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2016 at 12:28 pm

It is wonderful that a solution has been found and is being implemented so quickly. In a blink, Atherton became a Caltrain quiet zone and is now getting a stoplight where a life was lost. It is not lost on me that Menlo Park is still trying to figure out Ravenswood crossing and other issues that have been going on for quite awhile including the current Marsh Road debacle. Some may say Atherton has the money to get get results faster. I say Menlo Park is no slouch zip code and town leaders should quit tripping over themselves and get to work. BTW-for those of you complaining about the Marsh road detours, there are people all over that are sick, starving and being senselessly murdered. Is a 10 minute detour really going to change your life for three months?


12 people like this
Posted by Jenny Redo
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 16, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Yeah! I'm so glad this is finally happening. I hope they do the same for the Selby Lane/ECR crosswalk that elementary students take to get home.


2 people like this
Posted by Stan
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Jun 16, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Interesting!
In 55+ years of driving in this area the only time I've seen a problem at this crosswalk was when an Atherton police car blew through the crosswalk in the #3 Southbound lane- seemingly totally oblivious to the fact that vehicles in the #1 and # 2 lanes and already come to a stop and 2 women, 1 pushing an occupied baby stroller, were just stepping into the #1 lane. Fortunately a near miss. Hire better cops might be a good back stop solution.
Happened midday on Valentines day 2015.


Like this comment
Posted by David R
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 17, 2016 at 9:02 am

I like Atherton officer that jumps out in front of traffic on El Camino waving his radar gun at speeders to pull over. One surprised motorist swerved into my lane nearly taking me out. There's also the moto cop that sits in the center divide at the bend... darwin award waiting to happen.


2 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Jun 17, 2016 at 9:28 am

Terrible idea. Tragic as they are, accidents happen. If there was a history of repeated incidents at this site, then OK, lets put in a light. But should we now put in lights and stop signs at every single location where something happens? There has to be a threshold right?

Now let's see everyone in that neighborhood start complaining when the traffic builds up, which it will.


8 people like this
Posted by Kristi
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Jun 17, 2016 at 11:26 am

It's about time, I don't want to hear of another person being killed while trying to cross that street or on that street! Thanks for attempting to solve a pedestrian crossing problem and improving the safety of people in our community.



4 people like this
Posted by Apple
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 17, 2016 at 12:38 pm

@joe

Adding the light doesn't change the traffic pattern at the intersection. Cars are required to stop for pedestrians at the existing crosswalk. The light merely better informs drivers a pedestrian is there.

A light would prevent dangerous near misses, such as the one @Stan observed.


2 people like this
Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Jun 17, 2016 at 1:48 pm

It's also worth pointing out that El Camino Real is a state highway. As such, the funding for this SHOULD have come from the state, but they dragged their heels for so long, Atherton taxpayers stepped up and resolved it.


4 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 17, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Atherton taxpayers stepped up and resolved it."

No, Atherton is only paying for 50% of this project. The Fire District is paying the other 50%.


2 people like this
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2016 at 3:17 pm

So now we're having arguments about how the light was paid for? Seriously?

The important thing to remember here is that something was DONE. THAT is what matters.


1 person likes this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 17, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Things get DONE because someone pays for them not because of Forum postings.


8 people like this
Posted by Slow Crosser
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 17, 2016 at 4:54 pm

I'm gonna use the hell out of that light


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

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