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What are the safety issues at the Y?

What are the safety issues at the Y?

"Y" Intersection of Santa Cruz & Alameda

Y Intersection - Santa Cruz/Alameda

The Y intersection is one of the most dangerous intersections in all San Mateo County.  Most of the issues here relate to a very poor design and configuration, including serious safety issues for pedestrians, residents, and cyclists.  There are many safety issues, here is a short list of some of the many that are documented for this intersection:

  • Speeding is a major problem 
  • Poor visibility between motorists & pedestrians
  • Poor visibility between motorists & residents
  • High speed NB slip lane 
  • No viable ADA sidewalks/pathways 
  • No bike lanes or cyclist protection 
  • Skewed intersections 
  • Crosswalks unsafe and extremely long angled 
  • Confusing traffic lights - too many traffic lights
  • County's inability to fix major traffic signal conflict between pedestrians and motorists
  • Blind corners
  • Extremely wide and confusing intersection
  • Unsafe distance between motorists and pedestrians
  • No stop-yield lines to provide safety buffer between motorists and crosswalks
  • No Traffic Calming elements to provide natural speed reduction (greenery, narrower lanes, medians, islands, etc)

In a Nut Shell:  (See Pro-vs-Con discussion)

Virtually all of the problems at the Y intersection are due to its ill thought out basic design. The design  goes against the Federal Highway Guidelines that identify Skewed intersections should be changed to be 90° angles for the safety of all, including pedestrians.   The Pedestrian Safety Assessment (Berkeley engineers) that was submitted to County underscored the same recommendation.   

Currently the County is proposing keeping the same  skewed design.  That is a problem.   The community design proposal (Safety Option #10.5), which incorporates the engineering recommendations of both FHWA and Berkeley.  With that redesign, skewed approaches are eliminated without impact of traffic volume.  All of the documented safety issues pertaining to this intersection are addressed and solved, including a natural and proven to have motorist drive slower and saner.

We need a new design that actually solves the safety issues and not double down on the same dangerous current design that has so many ingrained safety issues.  To view an interactive comparison of all the designs for the "Y", please view the Pro-vs-Con discussion.