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SAFE Issue#10 - Alameda - Santa Cruz “Y” Intersection

Provides full Safety Issue details as PDFA critical Safety point is at the “Y” intersection of Santa Cruz and the beginning of Alameda de las Pulgas.   This intersection is unacceptably dangerous for cyclists, pedestrians, motorists, and those residents that have driveways there. 

--  This interactive comparison is of the 10.5 solution from this full section 10. It compares the community design to the current configuration of the "Y" intersection.

--  This Video shows a proposal for the removal of the dangerous short 3rd NB lane.

--  This Video shows the dangers for residents along the SantaCruz "Y" slip lane.

--  This Video shows an issue with the 3rd NB SCA lane being kept as nearly always Green light.

The Santa Cruz/Alameda Y interesection is one of the most complex and dangerous intersections in San Mateo County.  



Below is an interactive before/after view of option 10.5 which substatially improves the intersection by simplifing the design, reducing speed, and reducing the size of the intersection.  Areas in brown and light brown could be greenery or other taffic calming features - the darker gray areas are recovered areas that provide safety buffers by the redesign.


There are some layout issues that make the reading of the webpage a little confuing. Both main pictures (labeled map and collage of accidents) are reproduced twice.

I, for one, would start the discussion about lemonade stands and accidents in a fresh paragraph AFTER the map and before the accident collage.

Thursday, 8/18, 7:45am
Walking across Santa Cruz Avenue toward Campo Bello.
Pedestrian walk signal indicated I could cross, but the car coming from Santa Cruz part of the Y continued through the intersection.

Either the light and indicator changes too fast or the car ran the light. Either way, the intersection is unsafe for pedestrians.

Suggested remedies:
Stop all traffic when the pedestrian signal is pressed.

Delay the change in signals so cars and pedestrians are assured the other direction is stopped before proceeding

Flashing pedestrian signs

This is a residential street and there is no safe way for pedestrians (kids visiting friends houses) to cross from the East side to the West of Santa Cruz Avenue or to cross the "Y" to get to the East side of Alameda. The cars are driving way too fast and there is no marked crossing area. Currently, we have to cross toward Campo Bello and back across Alameda to walk on the West side of Santa Cruz Avenue.

Slowing down the Y off Alameda would be great. Not sure why people punch it when they come to this intersection, they are not going far as there is a four way stop. Maybe a few Silent Police (large speed bumps) may help.

About a year ago someone tried to pass me on the right, at the Santa Cruz-Alameda intersection.
Minor damage.

The street (Santa Cruz) does or did not clearly indicate lanes for south-bound & north bound vehicles. Some new painting has been done, but safety experts on lane painting would be welcome.

Accident at the Y Nov 29,2017 : This is the same thing that keeps happening at this intersection. Similar thing happened a few years back when a driver crashed into my stone wall at 2099 Santa Cruz Avenue, and of course at the house with the destroyed wall right at the Y. The only way I can think of preventing this is to put speed bumps or pavement bumps at the roads leading to the Y. Has that been discussed as an option at all?

For the crosswalks at the "Y" and SCA mid-black, the roads are very wide and there is much complexity at the sides of road. It is not easy for car drivers to see when a pedestrian is entering a crosswalk, especially from the other side of the road. As a car driver or a pedestrian I would like to see actuated light bumps for the crosswalks.

I am pretty sure a suggestion along the lines that follow has been made [see option 10.4] but I read a chapter in a book called Messy by Tim Harford that really crystallized it. See pages 201 to 204 regarding roundabouts. The gist is that the messiness of such a traffic pattern forces attention, slows speed and is ultimately safer.

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