Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 5, 2019

We can stop

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

It’s pretty disappointing to learn that even on a night when everyone should have been hyper vigilant about kids on streets we had yet another child vs car collision on the night of Halloween. It’s too easy for folks to blame all the “new” people in Alameda for the pedestrian/bicycle vs car accidents around town, but the bottom line is if drivers aren’t going to do a better job about not running over people then we, as a city, need to do something to keep people safe who aren’t wrapped in tons of steel. And the solution is not to blame newbies and then complain about too many bike lanes.

With the accident on Thursday night Alameda has now checked off six accidents involving children vs cars this year alone. While six children may not seem to be a lot to some people, if you’re one of those parents then even one is too many. As a parent who sends her children off into the world to use alternative forms of transportation to their local school it’s pretty alarming that drivers aren’t taking more care.

So it’s time for the City to actually build out infrastructure to really slow things down in time. Enforcement alone isn’t going to cut it.


Concerned parents will be gathering in front of City Hall tonight to urge the City Council to do more around safe zones around school sites.

But honestly there are pitfalls everywhere in Alameda that lead to possible collision points. My biggest gripe are cars that sneak around other cars waiting to make a left hand turn. Apparently that move is illegal but it’s a common occurrence. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve waited for someone to turn left and the car behind me either lays on their horn or merges into the bike lane to pass.

Similarly I’ve been passed at least three times on the stretch of Atlantic through the business park because I was only going 27 MPH. I’ve been passed both on the left (going into opposing traffic) and the right using the right turn pocket and gunning it to go straight.

Police officers can’t be everywhere at every time so we have to build safety into our streetscape. And it can start by the City establishing a Vision Zero policy which is on the agenda tonight.


  1. Enforcement alone isn’t going to cut it.


    Agree that it will not, but it is the one tool that can be immediately employed. It needs to start now while we wait for the other projects.

    Comment by dave — November 5, 2019 @ 6:29 am

  2. Crazy traffic behavior is reminiscent of an interview with Swami Beyondananda, in which he is asked if we should be fasting. His answer was, of course, that he recommended more slowing.

    I note that the staff report calls for a cross-department task force supported by a team of consultants, and then states there is no direct financial impact. Seems a little incongruous unless, perhaps, the plan is to hand out “consultant” hats to the members of the task force.

    Comment by Tom Schweich — November 5, 2019 @ 7:28 am

  3. Speed limit on Atlantic is 40 mph but good drivers go 50.

    Comment by Jack — November 5, 2019 @ 7:48 am

  4. So in my neighborhood near Franklin Park, Grand and San Antonio there were thousands of children and parents in the streets and sidewalks on Halloween night. This is the reality every year. Many parents appear to drive in from other parts of town or neighboring towns to enjoy the evening. It would have been way better to close down streets like on the 4th of July and confine traffic to the main roads like Grand.

    Comment by Nowyouknow — November 5, 2019 @ 7:52 am

  5. I think the actual number is seven since September.

    Comment by frank — November 5, 2019 @ 8:01 am

  6. I’ve been passed on the left (into opposing traffic) on Santa Clara three times in the past two years. I’m not driving slow, either–I’m at the speed limit or slightly above. This never used to happen when I first moved here, 15 years ago. The practice of treating stops signs as a slow-and-roll opportunity instead of a full stop is also on the increase too, which is horrendously dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists. More enforcement, yes, but maybe also stiffer penalties for when people are stopped for distracted/aggressive driving. And definitely more proactive street design to make our streets safer for all who use them.

    Comment by Kristen — November 5, 2019 @ 10:21 am

  7. Just a question and yes my heart breaks for the parents of these children…how many drivers were ticketed for being at fault in these accidents?

    Comment by J.E.A. — November 5, 2019 @ 8:14 pm

  8. I have also seen cars being passed on the left on Atlantic, Santa Clara near Broadway, and right by the dog park on 8th street just this Summer alone. Today, a bicyclist swerving in the bike lane while on the phone. Yesterday a Dad with a kid on the back of his bike flying through a 4 way stop sign intersection. I don’t drive but maybe 15-30 mins a few times a week. If I am seeing this, why aren’t the cops seeing this too and ticketing people? Also alot of pedestrians looking at their phone while crossing the street, that is pretty reckless too. Enforcement has to happen, these are reckless human behaviors that a few new lines in the road won’t fix.

    Comment by michonnekatana — November 7, 2019 @ 12:50 am

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