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Are pedestrians fair targets for the entitled?

Original post made by Still Upright But Shaken, Menlo Park: other, on Jan 9, 2008

So what does it take to get some traffic cops out on Santa Cruz Avenue during the day, ticketing drivers who seem hell-bent on flattening any pedestrian who might slow their oh-so-important progress? It's not unusual to be menaced a few times a week by these entitled creeps and oblivious cell-phone gabbers, but today I had to take defensive measures three times -- twice in a crosswalk and once just as I was prepared to step off the curb. (In the last case, this behemoth-driving, phone-talking idiot rolled right through both the crosswalk and the stop sign.)

Hey Menlo Park Police Department, are you paying attention? Hey city of Menlo Park and Chamber of Commerce, do you really want people to come downtown to shop and eat? I need to eat to survive, but if survival is my first priority, I'll have to stop walking downtown and find my lunch elsewhere. And do my shopping elsewhere.

Comments (3)

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Posted by another worried citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 9, 2008 at 4:16 pm

It would help tremendously if we had sidewalks also! However, I know as both a pedestrian and casual biker that many drivers are not stopping at stop signs and too many are speeding. I worry for myself, but even more so for the children who use this street.

It would also help if someone in the city would enforce the trimming of trees and bushes along the street, particularly at corners and driveways. This includes the downtown corners where bushes have grown so high in some places that drivers roll past the crosswalks so they can see what's coming.

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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 10, 2008 at 5:14 pm

We should get those ground flashing lights like you see near the railroad tracks next to the library.

The hedge trimming is a good start. I think that there should be three car lengths of any curb CLEAR.

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Posted by Still Upright
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm

Trimming of bushes and trees would help the overall situation a lot, but flashing crosswalks would do nothing to protect us from two of the three drivers I encountered yesterday. One rolled right through the stop sign, gabbing merrily on her cell, the other stopped but was so impatient (even though I'm a fast walker) that she started moving forward again while I was still in front of her car. The third incident might have been a result of the driver struggling to see past the bushes on the left and forgetting to looking to the right before moving completely into the crosswalk. All three times I felt threatened.

These aren't the first encounters I've had with drivers carelessly moving through crosswalks and/or running stop signs downtown, but three times in the course of half an hour was certainly a record. It really is time for the police department to put traffic cops downtown on a regular basis to ticket the stop sign jumpers and those who can't be bothered to let pedestrians cross in crosswalks. And, the city needs to get busy with the clippers to improve visibility at intersections.

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

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