• Safety & sidewalks: Traffic and Safety Commission tackles pedestrian safety

    By Cameron Douglas

    To stop or not to stop? That is the question many drivers seem to ask themselves at the intersection of Gibson and Fountain. Currently, those traveling on Fountain are required to stop: those traveling on Gibson are not. But they want to – most of the time. This and other safety concerns crossed the agenda of the Traffic Safety Commission on July 14.

    “A lot of times people (traveling on Fountain) think that you (traveling on Gibson) are coming to a stop,” said resident Karen Sheppard, citing several near-accidents that have occurred. She also expressed concern for middle school students going home at the end of the day. Traffic Engineer Malcolm Knisely pointed out that the intersection doesn’t meet the usual criteria for a four-way stop. However, the commission is taking a serious look at the matter. Public Works Business Manager Celia Perez-Martinez gave an update about progress on a crosswalk near the Sally Griffin Center, where new curb lines have been drawn at 19th Street. The work will be completed “sooner than later,” Martinez said, “probably less than six months.”

    Winston Elstob expressed annoyance over an anonymous letter of complaint about parking on Locust Street. Everyone agreed that anonymous letters are hard to follow up because there is no opportunity to interview the complainant. Nonetheless, commissioners and Police Chief Engles investigated the matter and all agreed there was no cause for complaint. “I’m encouraged by independent reviews like this,” said the chief.

    In other proceedings, the Pedestrian Safety subcommittee recently has weeded through their list of proposed pedestrian safety projects and which study best addresses each problem. Now comes the process of prioritizing. Each intersection on Lighthouse Avenue from 17th to Fountain will likely be worked on.

    The others – again, not yet in order of importance, are: Central at Eardley Eardley at Lighthouse Laurel at Grand Dewey at Central Ocean View access to Recreation Trail Robert Down School Forest Grove School Middle School Forest at Sinex David Avenue west of Congress Pine Avenue (4 to 3 lane conversion) Fountain at Central Intersection of Jewell, Pacific & Caledonia Forest at Grove Market Lighthouse at Congress Forest Avenue at Forest Hill Blvd. Central at Grand Improved safety on the Recreation Trail The commission also reviewed the stretch of Forest Avenue in front of the middle school where Joel Woods lost his life last year, and discussed ways to create more room on the side of the street where students are dropped off and picked up.

    The Pacific Grove Traffic Safety Commission receives complaints having to do with traffic matters, and recommends to the City Council ways and means for improving traffic conditions and the administration and enforcement of traffic regulations. The Commission also reviews and makes recommendations to Council regarding bicycle and pedestrian facilities within the City. Traffic Safety Commission meetings are open to the public and all interested persons are welcome to attend. The City of Pacific Grove does not discriminate against individuals with disabilities and meetings are held in accessible facilities. The next meeting of the Traffic Commission is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on July 18, 2009

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News, Cameron Douglas


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