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Sidewalks on Santa Cruz Ave.

From: domainremoved <Roger>
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2015 12:08:26 -0700

My family does not live on Santa Cruz Ave but 3 out of 4 of us regularly
walk on Santa Cruz Ave between downtown and Elder. I also drive on Santa
Cruz Ave often during the time just after Hillview gets out.

I very much agree we need sidewalks on Santa Cruz Ave. both from a safety
point of view as well as comfort of walking. The safety issue should be
obvious - with nothing to help keep cars and pedestrians apart I am always
concerned when we walk on it. I will not allow my kids to walk home on
Santa Cruz Ave at night because of the lack of sidewalks. When someone
parks on the north side of the street just west of Johnson, I also find
myself forced to go on the outside of the cars (closer to traffic) if they
are parked very close to the curb, if there is landscaping blocking the
way, or if the dirt is wet and muddy.

Every morning my son has to wait for the bus to school essentially standing
in the street during the busiest part of the commute.

Without sidewalks bicyclists often ride between the edge of the street and
the bike lane, so as a pedestrian I sometimes find myself encountering a
bike coming directly at me. In the case where bicyclists fail to observe
stop signs turning onto Santa Cruz Ave (and face it: school kids will do
this) they turn right into the area where pedestrians are walking without
much chance for either of us to see the other ahead of time. I have had a
couple close calls this way.

The additional visibility provided by a sidewalk at corners also allows
pedestrians and cars to see each other better. My son was once hit by a
vehicle (fortunately not seriously injured) when skateboarding down Santa
Cruz Ave and a woman drove up to a stop sign from the right and drifted
through the stop sign. Obviously she was in the wrong, but if there was a
sidewalk she and my son would have had a little more space in which to see
and avoid each other.

From a comfort point of view, the steep slope of the road near the edges is
not easy to walk on. Flat all the way from Olive to Johnson would be a nice
bonus!

Of the alternatives proposed, I favor those which provide sidewalks on both
sides and preserves all parking (because visitors and commercial vehicles
like UPS or US Mail do have to have some place to park without having to
walk too far). It is unfortunate some have built on the city right-of-way,
but public safety and interest needs to take precedence. When I had to move
my basketball hoop out of the street because it was in the public right of
way, I wasn't happy but I kept my mouth shut and complied because I
realized I had no right to have it there in the first place. And honestly,
some of the encroachment is so bad it actually forces pedestrians farther
into the street than is comfortable in some places. Even if it were not a
city right of way, it was highly inconsiderate of them to do it and they
shouldn't have done it in the first place.

Sincerely,

Roger A Knopf
190 Pineview Ln
650-255-5803
Received on Mon Mar 09 2015 - 12:08:26 PDT

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