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May 17, 2009

What’s the most annoying, dangerous intersection or crosswalk in Walnut Creek?

Annoying? My vote is the crosswalk on Mt. Diablo Boulevard at Broadway Plaza. This the one where pedestrians, at their fancy, can push a button and start lights blinking in the crosswalk, which tells cars to stop so that pedestrians can then enter the crosswalk.


From my observation, this crosswalk is responsible for causing big traffic backups on Mt. Diablo Boulevard especially during peak shopping times on weekends and during the holidays. The pedestrians, making their way from Broadway Plaza across to the shops on the north side of Mt. Diablo, often ignore basic etiquette. You know, that concept of taking turns? That concept your parents start teaching you when you were 2 years old. Okay, some pedestrians show some grace, and wait to let some cars pass. But most often they don't.

(Oh, and by the way, Soccer Son, took the above photo, while he and I were stuck at that crosswalk for several minutes on Friday evening.)

As for dangerous? Well, I’d need to see police statistics for that. But are there any you feel are particularly hazardous, either from a vehicle versus vehicle standpoint or a vehicle versus pedestrian.


Near our neighborhood, there is the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Newell Avenue, where in June 2007, Corinne Crawford, a UC Berkeley graduate student and member of the Cal Cycling team, was fatally injured. She and a fellow team cyclist were returning from a bike ride to Mt. Diablo when both were truck at the intersection while waiting with their bikes at a red light. The two were struck by a 2002 Cadillac driven by a 74-year-old man.


The Contra Costa Times surveyed readers to get their views on dangerous East Bay intersections. You can access the Times online, interactive map that invites readers to update and share their concerns about specific intersections. You can access the Times map here.

14 comments:

Limeridger said...

My vote is for the crosswalk between Peets and Lark Creek Cafe. I'm not sure why but I have had several close calls at this cross-walk both as a driver and as a user of the cross-walk.

Anonymous said...

I certainly agree with the one on Mt. Diablo Blvd at Broadway Plazza for being the most annoying. The most dangerous in my view is the one across Walker Avenue at the Iron Horse Trail. It's the same deal where pedestrians can press a button but the difference here is that a fair number of the ambitious joggers and bickers don't slow down to press the button and they are almost invisible between the wall along the canal and the current new construction site.

Anonymous said...

I agree with soccer mom, that crosswalk is scary. What's gonna happen as they continue to try to squeeze more stores into downtown? How are residents in the neighborhood above downtown going to get to there homes?

Anonymous said...

What's really scary about that crosswalk is that moms with kids in stollers will suddenly step into it.It's like they don't show any common sense of looking to see if any cars are coming. And there usually are because it's a busy street and people are going to Safeway or to parking garage or those neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

Broadway Plaza and Mt. Diablo crosswalk gets my vote for sure. It is amazing to me that no one has been killed there yet.

The one on Walker at the Iron Horse trail is horrible too because it is so difficult to see as there is a slight rise and the stupid blinking lights in the street are not visible during most of the day.

Coming into to town or going to Hwy. 24 from the Walnut Heights area is getting more dangerous as time goes on because of these two crossings. I once complained to Mayor Regalia about this danger not too long after the lights were installed and was told that I should not even be using Walker/Mt.Diablo as a way to enter town or access the freeway. She suggested that I cut through several neighborhoods to get to San Miguel, go south to Rudgear to get to where I was going!!! Does that make sense? Naw, but it is easier to say that than admit that the Broadway Plaza/Mt. Diablo crosswalk is a huge mistake and an accident waiting to happen. Wonder how the town fathers/mothers (who don't have to use this route through town) will feel when we have our first fatality?

The very idea that people can't walk 1/2 block either east or west to cross Mt. Diablo is absurd to say the very least. Poor traffic planning at it's very worst. There is no logical reason why the same kind of fencing used on N. California in front of McDonalds can't be installed on Mt. Diablo to force pedestrians to use the other crosswalks,thus improving the traffic flow in both directions. Too simple I guess.

Anonymous said...

Is the reason the city installed signs to remind drivers that pedestrians have the right of way because drivers are running or nearly running over pedestrians.

That's what I assumed. Drivers around here are idiots. It's better to wait for another green rather than hit someone. I hate driving in Walnut Creek. Just another reason to go to Stoneridge. Lots of parking.

Anonymous said...

It's mostly the pedestrians who are the idiots. They think the blinking crosswalk lights protect them and give them a "right" to cross in front of oncoming traffic. That is not the purpose of the lights. This is the text of the law:

Right-of-Way at Crosswalks

21950. (a) The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

(b) This section does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No pedestrian may unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in a marked or unmarked crosswalk.

Rmeezy said...

There are a lot of dangerous intersections in town, but I attribute that to the "me first" attitude a lot of people have nowadays. As a motorcycle commuter, I have to be extra careful at intersections because people have a hard time judging the speed that I am traveling and always pull out in front of me.
My girlfriend was hit by a drunk driver who ran a red light at Ygnacio and 680 south. Thankfully she didn't get hurt. A lot of accidents occur there due to people running the red light trying to get on the freeway.

Masterlock said...

That crosswalk you highlighted is a serious public nuisance. The funny thing is pedestrians could help out in a huge way if they just waited while the light was green for the cars to go through. I avoid going through there at all costs now. On a personal note, I hate that intersection right by autopia where la virage used to be. It's awkward, badly designed and difficult to negotiate and the light takes forever to change.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why the elderly Cadillac driver who was distracted, swerved, and struck and killed the bicyclist waiting for a light at Olympic and Newell two years ago was never accused even of negligent homicide? Seems to me that "Oops! Oh, well..." is a pretty inadequate response. Is he still driving? Should he be??

Soccer Mom said...

Anon 12:10: Good question. At one point, I had been checking in on the case, but I must confess it fell off my radar.

Sometime after that a woman in her 60s plowed into the market on Olympic on a weekday afternoon, and injured a kid, not badly, but the market had to be shut down for several weeks to repair the front of their store.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to have even one 'near miss' with a bike. On the other hand, I feel like I'm in Chinatown when I walk downtown Walnut Creek.

And, does anyone know if it's the issues with vehicles that they posted those signs informing drivers that pedestrians have the right of way. I thought it was funny, because I learned that in my first day of drivers ed.

Anonymous said...

The intersection at Main Street across from Barnes & Noble and CPK is hellacious!

Anonymous said...

9:33 AM - Your most hated intersection of Olympic and S. Main Street at Barnes and Noble is not going to get any better with the new parking arrangements at the garage behind Crate and Barrel when Neiman Marcus comes to town.

The planners and city council have decided via an EIR that traffic there and at Mt. Diablo and Main Streets has no solution so will be doing nothing to improve it. Just keep building more and bigger buildings in the core area and let drivers, locals particularly, suffer because of the lust for the almighty tax dollar.