News


Three cars crash into Anthropologie in Palo Alto

Friday morning crash on slick Alma Street narrowly misses shop's front door

Three vehicles swerved into the Anthropologie clothing store at 999 Alma St. in downtown Palo Alto Friday morning (Nov. 4) shortly after 8 a.m., startling two managers who were preparing to open the store, a manager said.

The vehicles were traveling northbound on Alma and narrowly missed striking the store's wooden front door.

One of the vehicles exited Alma Street, mounted the planting strip and sidewalk on the southeast corner of Addison Avenue and drove across the street and up the sidewalk in front of the store, hitting a retaining wall and planter in front of the building to the right of the door.

A second car appeared to cross just to the north of the first car, went across the Addison intersection and struck a wooden bench and the building facade just to the left of the door.

It is unknown at this time what happened to the third car.

Police and fire personnel were called on scene but few details have been released, pending written reports.

One man was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries, said Geo Blackshire, acting deputy chief of operations for the Palo Alto Fire Department.

The injured driver's car airbags were deployed and probably saved his life, Blackshire said. Airbags are set to expand at impacts of 25 mph, he said.

The store managers, who were cleaning up debris but wanted to remain anonymous, said they were in the building when the crash occurred. No one appeared to be injured, they said.

"It's been a long morning," one of the women said.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Hates bad drivers
a resident of Palo Verde School
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:25 am

People not only drive too fast but drive badly. The police seem to let people talk on the cell phone and speed down Middlefield and Alma. When I drive 25 on Middlefield I get moms in mini vans passing me quickly while on their cell phone daily. THE POLICE DON'T ticket them but they certainly ticket gardeners. I can't tell you how many times I have almost been run over by someone while walking my dogs. One guy almost ran me off the road and his plates said Texas county judge. This was accross from the school on Loma Verde. WHERE ARE THE POLICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We could pay them more if they ticketed more. Palo Alto has declined over the years!!!


Like this comment
Posted by George
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:26 am

Why?


Like this comment
Posted by reckless drivers
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:29 am

Alma Street is 25mph near downtown and people need to drive slower when the roads are wet. I hope the cops throw the book at both of these idiots.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:42 am

What time of day was this? Were the two cars chasing each other? Was this a coincidence or something else? Did the drivers know each other?

Lots of things don't make sense about this.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:50 am

It continually amazes me that there are some people who cannot avoid running into buildings with their cars. It just does not seem like such people should ever be driving again after that. How could this happen, and with 2 cars, not just one?

Were these people drunk or racing, how could this happen?


Like this comment
Posted by Tyler Hanley
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Nov 4, 2011 at 10:55 am

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

We are waiting to hear from a fire department spokesperson about the crash and will update the story once we have more information. The rain-slicked roads likely contributed more to the collision than alcohol or the possibility of racing, though we will have a better sense of what the factors were once we get a comment from the fire department. The good news is that no one was seriously injured.


Like this comment
Posted by reckless drivers
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2011 at 11:02 am

Any photos of the cars and drivers instead of just the store workers?


Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 11:03 am

"The vehicles were traveling northbound on Alma and both narrowly missed striking the store's wooden front door."

Well there's your problem right there...Alma runs Northwest in direction. If you drive North, you can't help but run into the store!


Like this comment
Posted by Eclair
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 11:10 am

LOL - thank you Crescent Park Dad.


Like this comment
Posted by onmysoapbox
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2011 at 11:37 am

A segment of drivers are ridiculously inattentive, which strikes fear into my heart when my kids or I walk or bike in PA. I can only guess that our species' brains cannot adapt fast enough to changes wrought by the "technological progress" we have experienced in the last 20 years. Has anybody else noticed the recent widespread phenomena of drivers on surface streets straddling the white line into the bike lane as they drive, some but not all, on e-devices?


Like this comment
Posted by Be the change.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

If you want more police on the street, tell your City Council members at city.council@cityofpaloalto.org .

Over time, through budget cuts, the Police Department Traffic Team has been reduced from seven to four officers. These hard-working guys can't work 24/7. They also have to give time to paperwork and other responsibilities. So, we rarely have more than two dedicated Traffic Team members working the entire network of city streets at a time.

If better traffic enforcement is important to you, and you want more resources given to it, tell them. Ask them to assign budget dollars to this purpose. Understand, though, that this money will come from some other budget item or a tax increase. Our city's long-term structural budget deficit is a very real problem.

Finally, if you want safer streets, behave civilly yourself. Obey the law AND be considerate of other road users. Model the behavior you wish others would demonstrate. You'll be surprsied how far your own good citizenship goes toward creating the safer community you want.

Considerate behavior is catching!


Like this comment
Posted by Alma Street
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

Thanks for the humor CP Dad... folks ALWAYS speed on Alma. I want to know where the police are too. I saw them at a movie set south of San Gregorio a few days ago... there were at least 3 or 4 cop cars... They were enjoying the sunset and taking photos like tourists. That's where they are...

Whenever I try to drive the speed limit around Anthropologie I am not going with the flow of traffic, which is speeding.


Like this comment
Posted by rhody
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 11:59 am

"We have met the enemy and they is us" Most of us are the drivers along Alma. Although who knows who reads these posts.


Like this comment
Posted by reckless drivers
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I always obey the speed limit when driving on Alma. The road is too narrow and busy for higher speeds to be safe. That is especially true around downtown where there are lots of parallel parked cars and driveways.


Like this comment
Posted by daniel
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm

This to me screams of drivers who were texting while driving too fast. Even if that was not the culprit in this particular case, driving too fast and using cellphones while driving have become an epidemic in Palo Alto. I was nearly hit this morning by a female driver of a large SUV while riding my bike, because she failed to yield, talking on her cell and paying no attention whatsoever to the road. Since she was also driving very fast, I can only imagine the consequences had I not slammed hard on my bicycle breaks and swerved sharply in order to avoid a collision. I don't think she was ever aware that she almost killed a cyclist.


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2011 at 12:50 pm

As I heard at the scene, both of the "idiots" were trying to dodge a driver wanting to turn left onto Alma from the cross street, and decided she just couldn't wait any longer. The other drivers ran into the store instead of T-boning the impatient left-turner. Having seen the skidmarks and damage to the store, they may have saved her life.


Like this comment
Posted by Duh
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm

People DON'T drive the speed limit and neither do the cops. I have had cops pass me on Alma and other major streets. I always drive the speed limit. When trying to make a left turn to my house I nearly get killed because I have to gauge how fast the cars are coming usually about 45mph when it is a 25mph.
I have also encountered the idiot with the plates that read Texas County Judge. I hope he doesn't kill someone one day.
I am glad these three drivers didn't hurt someone, but maybe if they got hurt they would make better drivers later.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 4, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I rarely drive on Alma, but I cruise Embarcadaro regularly. I have discovered that I can get my car into 4th gear, hit about 25mph, punch in the cruise control, and let the car manage my speed for me. This is important because my natural inclination is to match speed with the surrounding cars, but they are way over the speed limit and I don't want to do this. I follow the same practice on Middlefield if I am driving any distance on it. Yeah, I get tailgated and passed a lot, but I travel just a little over 25mph on those streets. It is just not a good idea to go faster.


Like this comment
Posted by Dick Maser
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Drivers on Alma go too damned fast, often markedly exceeding the speed limit, and not infrequently trying to beat the traffic signals; I'm not surprised, but much dismayed, by this event. Dick Maser


Like this comment
Posted by Wonder
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I wonder if their GPS told them to drive into the store thinking the road went that way. After all, some drive on the tracks if their GPS tells them to go that way.


Like this comment
Posted by reckless drivers
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Are people saying that the cars drove on to the sidewalk to avoid a fender bender? How reckless! At 25mph, your cars airbags will protect you if you hit another car. If you drive onto the sidewalk, you can easily kill a pedestrian (or even a dozen pedestrians). Next time, just go straight and hit the car. That is much safer for everyone. If you kill a pedestrian on the sidewalk to avoid denting your sheet metal, you are the one that will be charged with homicide.


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm

There are two cars mentioned in the narrative, but three identified in the headline. What happened to the other vehicle?

> One of the vehicles exited Alma Street

Hmmm .. and how does a vehicle "exit" the street? Too fast? Driver under the influence? Anger management issues?

This reporting leaves a lot to be desired.


Like this comment
Posted by moon
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Nov 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm

it has since jumped onto moon.


Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Nov 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm

@JustMe,

Intentionally impeding traffic is the most offensive thing you can do on the road. Offensive beyond stupidity and negligence, because it is intentional.

If you don't believe me, rest assured that you will get an object lesson on this from a Road-Rager. It's just a matter of time.




Like this comment
Posted by reckless drivers
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Driving at the speed limit in the right lane is not "intentionally impeding traffic". That is especially true of narrow residential roads that are lined with schools and driveways. Offensive beyond stupidity is driving faster than the speed limit on these types of roads.


Like this comment
Posted by Yep
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 5, 2011 at 6:49 am

Can somebody PLEASE figure out how I can blame this on cyclists?


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2011 at 7:38 am

Outside Observer observes: "Intentionally impeding traffic is the most offensive thing you can do on the road. Offensive beyond stupidity and negligence, because it is intentional.

"If you don't believe me, rest assured that you will get an object lesson on this from a Road-Rager. It's just a matter of time."

Driving the speed limit is not intentionally impeding traffic. And besides, the streets mentioned by the other poster have two lanes in each direction, allowing a Road-Rager to pass on the left. You need to slow down and observe the speed limit. I don't care how fast you drive down I-5, but, city streets with drivers turning into driveways, bicycles, pedestrians crossing, require slow speeds for safety. I suggest that you take a nice bicycle ride through Palo Alto and enjoy the trees.


Like this comment
Posted by Easy
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2011 at 11:59 am

@Yep

"Can somebody PLEASE figure out how I can blame this on cyclists?"
lol, I'll give it a try.

If the drivers weren't so distracted scanning the road for potential bicyclists and pedestrians, this accident would have NEVERr happened.

Hope that helps. ;-)


Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm

For safety reasons I won't drive 65 mph on 280, I'll drive 80 mph like everyone else.

Why? Because I don't want to be rear-ended, and because I have no right to impede others.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

"@JustMe,

Intentionally impeding traffic is the most offensive thing you can do on the road. Offensive beyond stupidity and negligence, because it is intentional.

If you don't believe me, rest assured that you will get an object lesson on this from a Road-Rager. It's just a matter of time."

Are you aware that people have been killed or injured on these streets? We are talking about kids on bicycles and people in wheelchairs?

There is no excuse for risking the lives of people, children, in residential areas, just because you are impatient and/or stupid. I can live with the road ragers. I could never live with knowing I killed or hurt someone by my own stupidity.


Like this comment
Posted by Easy
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm

@OO

"For safety reasons I won't drive 65 mph on 280, I'll drive 80 mph like everyone else.

Why? Because I don't want to be rear-ended, and because I have no right to impede others."

You have no right to drive 80 either, but apparently that does not stop you from doing something you have no right to do.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm

So I'm waiting on northbound ECR for the left turn light onto Page Mill, and across from me waiting for his green is big guy in a large black SUV yakking away on his cell phone. What can you do but just shake your head. The light changes and we go and I see the 7-pointed PAPD star on his white door and realize all is well.


Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:22 pm

The day I see the PAPD haul illegal immigrants, and more importantly, their employers from the shops and houses of PA in cuffs; that's the day I'll reconsider obeying laws I don't agree with.

Until then I opt to be just as hypocritical as the Liberals who don't agree with immigration, and so many other laws.

And another one, for "Musical" and the rest, I won't use my cell phone in the car because it's unsafe. Guess it wouldn't be if I were a Cop!


Like this comment
Posted by easy
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm

"The day I see the PAPD haul illegal immigrants, and more importantly, their employers from the shops and houses of PA in cuffs; that's the day I'll reconsider obeying laws I don't agree with."

So then there will be no more whining from you about bicyclists that dont obey rules they disagree with.


Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm

@easy,

>>"bicyclists that dont obey rules they disagree with."

Thanks for being honest ;)


Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm

This is near the day worker center, right?
Day Workers are known to speed around in their Porsches.


Like this comment
Posted by Frank Booth
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Apps and IPhones, such a blessing.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 6, 2011 at 7:49 am

I once complained about speed in this area and was told by a cop that the area was not authorized for radars. I don't remember exactly what language he used, but he said they couldn't legally do radar. I don't know if that has changed or not, but this was the case a year or so ago.


Like this comment
Posted by reckless drivers
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 6, 2011 at 9:10 am

Cars run over bicyclists. Cars run over pedestrians. Cars crash into buildings. What do all these tragedies have in common?


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2011 at 9:13 am

People!


Like this comment
Posted by iRoll
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2011 at 10:51 am

Has anyone checked Anthropologie for giant magnets? In general, it is a good idea to look up when you are driving.


Like this comment
Posted by Polly Wanacracker
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm

"Cars run over bicyclists. Cars run over pedestrians. Cars crash into buildings. What do all these tragedies have in common?"

Targets.


Like this comment
Posted by some guy
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm

This happened to me twice in the last couple of years. I was driving along a two-lane street with a car behind me, doing about 5 mph over the limit. Once the limit was 25, and the other time it was 35. Suddenly the car behind me decides I'm not going fast enough for them, and they pull into the left lane and punch it. I can hear their engine reving up as they go by. Within seconds after passing me, they get pulled over for speeding, caught in a speed trap. The first time, we were going over a bridge when the woman behind me went around me, and the speed trap was just on the other side of the bridge. She got pulled over about 2 seconds after passing me. The second time, the cop came out into the street from between parked cars and waved the passing car over to get their speeding ticket. Each time, I didn't get pulled over. My favorite one, however, was when some guy in a black pickup came speeding up behind me when I was doing 35 in a 30 zone, with one lane. He comes right up to my bumper and then hits the brakes, as if to say that I'm causing a hazard by not speeding. I thought maybe that cop I saw parked on the
side of the road, when I drove up the same road about an hour earlier, was still there. So I pulled over and let the guy zoom past
as soon as I could. A few minutes later I pass the black pickup, parked on the side of the road in front of the cop car, with the cop
standing next to his window as he fished for his license. Looooooser!


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

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