Seeking to protect students who use expressway intersections, including one in Palo Alto and two in Los Altos, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has approved funding for the installation of "pedestrian detection systems," according to a press release from the county.
The intersections will be equipped with sensors that detect pedestrians in the crosswalk and send a signal, which gives the pedestrian additional time to cross the street, according to the county. This will prevent pedestrians from getting "caught" when the light turns green for traffic.
The systems have already been installed at 11 intersections throughout the county, including two crossings on Oregon and Page Mill expressways near Ohlone Elementary School in Palo Alto.
The new detection systems will be installed at Foothill Expressway and Arastradero Road, near Gunn High School; Foothill Expressway and Springer Road, near Loyola Elementary School in Los Altos; and Foothill and St. Joseph Avenue, near Montclaire Elementary School in Los Altos.
Supervisor Joe Simitian said in a statement that the goal of the effort is to "make it safer for kids to walk and bike to school across our busy expressways."
"It's our responsibility both to make sure that our roads are safe and well-maintained for drivers, but also that they are safe for pedestrians, especially kids and their families," Simitian said.
The board allocated a surplus from the Adult School Crossing Guard Program to fund the new crossings, which will be combined with funds already allocated to the project from the Santa Clara County Road Fund.