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Bikes crossing Oregon with new lights and safety islands

Original post made by Paly Parent, Midtown, on Aug 18, 2014

I would love to hear comments from those who use these intersections today and for the new school year, bikes, drivers, pedestrians. What are your impressions? Is there any police presence watching them?

Comments (13)

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Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:51 am

They removed the crosswalk at Waverley Street & Oregon. Are they going to repaint that, or are pedestrians supposed to walk down the shoulder of Oregon to get to the crosswalk at Bryant Street? We are trying to walk from south Waverley to the California Street business district.

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Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 18, 2014 at 11:57 am

I noted that one of the two crosswalks at Bryant was removed (I have no idea why). You may want to re-check Waverly for the same thing.

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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm

There is only one crosswalk at Bryant and the other side had a no pedestrian sign. I assume to make it easier for bikes and pedestrians to cross without running into each other. There are no pedestrian signs at Waverly and crosswalks on goths sides of Cowper.

@resident - I assume they expect you to walk on a parallel street to Oregon to get to Bryant. It looks like there is only pedestrian crossings at the lights. Waverly is also only a right turn onto to Oregon, no more cars going straight or left.

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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 19, 2014 at 11:07 am

It seems like an awful lot of work went into this for not all that much change.

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Posted by Brian
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 11:13 am

My opinion is that the changes are positive. The crossings are safer - as long as people obey the crosswalks and signals! As a biker, I appreciate the changes; however, I have noticed other bikers are endangering themselves and pedestrians by quickly crossing to the wrong side of the street and using the crosswalks to run though a red light. I hope the police can find a way to stop this behavior.

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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm

From a driver point of view, I like these changes very much and some more of them need to happen in certain places.

The intersection of Newell and Embarcardero for one. That is an almost impossible intersection, there needs to be a straight and left turn lane, and alternating lights so people can get through it in less than 20 minutes ... OK, I exaggerate a little.

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Posted by Driver Dan
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 2:29 pm

The problem with police targeting bikes is that they spend all their time writing tickets to drivers who speed and run red lights while waiting for a bike infraction. If we want to let the cops prioritize writing bike tickets, we need to stop driving like our heads are on fire. Given the risk of harm, I would have to prioritize ticketing cars too, so lets quit the nonsense on the roads ourselves and let the cops prioritize the less dangerous groups for ticketing.

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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Aug 20, 2014 at 9:35 am

Thanks for the comments so far.

I am particularly interested to see how Oregon's new safety features are working for our kids getting to school.

Many Paly students use Bryant to cross Oregon on bikes.

Many Jordan students use Middlefield, Louis and Greer to cross Oregon on bikes and also as pedestrians.

As the red lights seem to take longer to turn green with the changes the number of people waiting on bikes and on foot for a safe time to cross must make these intersections crowded. Is there enough space for all the people waiting on sidewalks and in bike lanes? Those little islands can probably only take a couple of bikes. What happens to the rest of the waiting bikes? Do they take up the complete street? Are there bikes and pedestrians both waiting on the sidewalks? Is there any police presence to monitor what the kids are doing at these intersections?

My kids have been riding bikes to Paly and were fine with the old routine. I am fairly confident they know what to do as we have discussed it at home, but there are so many kids riding bikes and crossing by foot that I am concerned if the new procedures at the intersections make large numbers of kids waiting for a green light safe.

Any comments by students or adults who have seen the busy commute crossings would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Posted by Paly Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 20, 2014 at 9:35 am

Sorry, my neighborhood should be Palo Alto High School, not Palo Verde School.

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Posted by The Great Wall
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Waverly seems to be a disaster.

If you are driving from North to South, you can no longer drive straight across Waverly, which is a major pass through street.

Instead you must turn right onto Oregon, then the next left with a light is Bryant St, the Bike Boulevard which only goes a few blocks before it is blocked to cars.

So you are routing more cars on to the bike boulevard, which must then snake through quiet residential streets to get back to Waverly, which is the only road that goes through and crosses the creek. Does any of this make sense to anyone? Haime? Do we just want to make more traffic go through our neighborhoods just for the heck of it?

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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 20, 2014 at 3:38 pm

@The Great Wall - Obviously the people on Waverly have more political clout than those on Bryant.

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Posted by M.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm

@The Great Wall - though, I don't think there used to be a light on Waverly. Since they added it, it would have turned it into a major pass through. So it seems reasonable to mitigate that by making it turn only.

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Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm

@Great Wall I think the turn only lane is to keep Waverley from being a major pass through. More turns means slower traffic (in theory anyway). And its probably to discourage people from using Waverley instead of Middlefield or Alma as a thru street. Not that I think that will work...

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