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New stop sign at Channing/Heather

Original post made by Adam on Apr 26, 2012

I noticed today that the city has put up a new stop sign that will presumably be "unveiled" in the coming week at the corner of Channing and Heather where there is a crosswalk to Duveneck. Is this really necessary? Would a light up crosswalk not have sufficed?

Comments (4)

Posted by Mom, a resident of Jordan Middle School
on Apr 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm

The mornings in that area are very rushed and I've seen cars drive really close to the crosswalk before stopping. Sometimes cars will bully their way through when someone is standing, ready to cross in the crosswalk, when the pedestrian actually has the right of way. It would be easily possible for a driver in a rush to blow through the crosswalk without realizing it's there while driving on Channing. I'm usually a mom in a rush, but I do see the need for the 4-way stop signs because there are a lot of pedestrians before the school bell rings in the morning.

Those lighted crosswalks are helpful, as on Fabian, but pedestrians still have to be cautious of drivers. Children might not be as cautious as adults when in a crosswalk.

I believe Duveneck has done a lot of monitoring and felt there was a need to install the stop signs based upon the traffic. With more parents driving students from South Palo Alto (as opposed to 5 years ago), there are more cars in the morning.


Posted by pedestrian, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Glad to see the city doing more to protect pedestrians, especially around schools. To many pedestrians are getting hit by reckless drivers in this city. Slow down. Killing someone will ruin your whole day, not to mention your insurance rates.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

I had not heard about this and I live nearby. I also saw the shrouded the sign yesterday and wondered about it. I don't think there has ever been a crossing guard at that intersection and a lot of kids/parents do cross there.
I can tell you a problem with that intersection is that parents park hulking SUVs too close to the intersection (on Channing, facing away from downtown but before the intersection with Heather, on the Heather Lane side of the road)and this makes it almost impossible for drivers pulling out from Heather onto Channing to see around these vehicles to see if there is oncoming traffic. I don't know if that situation will be improved by having a stop sign there - I think it will be unaffected.
Anything that improves elementary school safety - for pedestrians, bikers AND drivers is good - I have never heard of any problems or incidents at this intersection (Heather/Channing) but it seems a stopsign is an ok addition.


Posted by giraffe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 28, 2012 at 9:15 am

I would like to hear the city's justification for this stop sign. Did they consider cost?
Web Link
Pollution? Apparently, the purpose of this stop sign is not to control speeding; this article
Web Link
says:
We see that stop signs don't necessarily control speeding:
Although speeding complaints are the driving force
behind many citizen requests for stop signs, Palo Alto
doesn't approve stop signs solely to control speeding.
The reason is that drivers pulling away from a stop tend
to speed up in midblock to make up lost time, according
to traffic studies.

So I presume the primary reason is the safety of children crossing the street.
Rather than make everyone stop , 24 hours a day, 365 days a year wouldn't it make more sense to have a crossing guard there during the school rush hours which are what - maybe an hour a day, ~180 days / year? I also suspect that people busy texting etc would be more likely to notice a crossing guard than a stop sign.


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