Needed Pedestrian Safety at the “Y” – Low Cost

Pedestrian safety at the “Y” is in dire need.  While some improvement was achieved when the 3rd lane was removed in spring of 2019, some of those safety gains have been lost due to minor changes that did not consider safety for pedestrians


Pedestrians can not use this intersection or sidewalks at and round this intersection safely.  These problems are not new. They were formally reported in 2010 and again in 2107.  County Public Works has been contacted innumberable times.  How PW can find these unsafe conditions to persist points to a bigger issue.  In any case, its time to fix these issues.  

  • The sidewalks are so unsuable that everyone, elders, students, families, dog walkers, etc. have to use the roadway
  • The crosswalks are at angles, extremely long, and with several visibility issues, including serious mulilane threat that limits visibility between motorists and pedestrians
  • Traffic often stops in or over the crosswalks – blocking the crosswalk
  • Traffic Light timing signals pedestrians to cross when cars are still clearing the intersection
  • Confusion of what lane to use distracts drivers creating higher risk of collisions
  • NB Alameda – sidewalk pathways are so bad that PW has blocked them, forcing pedestrians into the traffic lane next to parked cars   — Visibility issues due to slope and glare add to safety risk

Solution Options

  • Sidewalk on the eastern side of Santa Cruz Ave
    • Has needed repair for over 12 years – not safe. Public works 4 years ago said they would repair by replacing with smooth packed agregate (see PW email* April 2018)  
    • Remove obstacles in sidewalk so strollers can be used without having to use roadway.  These include polls in path, 
  • Southern Crosswalk across Santa Cruz Ave
    • Add advance stop line on NB Santa Cruz – perpendicular to sidewalk and away from crosswalk – to remove multilane danger and keep cars in line (not at angle)
    • Add Pedestrian Crossing Bollard in middle – to increase motorist awareness
    • Increase traffic light delay on SB Santa Cruz traffic to allow intersection to clear before peds are signaled to cross
    • Add diagonal lines to pavement prior to crosswalk on the NB eastern side 
    • Add planter 10′ x 3′ barriers prior to crosswalk on NB eastern side – greenery and protection
  • Northbound Santa Cruz traffic lanes
    • Add missing shoulder line from Sand Hill Road to Y intersection — define the right lane
    • Make the right lane width narrower, consistent with Santa Cruz from Avy to Downtown (10′ or less)


Solution Benefits

Adding the shoulder stripe for NB Santa Cruz will:

  • Increased safety buffer (traffic will be further from curb/parked cars)
  • Improved visibility for cars exiting driveways
  • Narrower definded lane will slow traffic speed
  • Safer to exit/enter parked cars
  • Defined lane improves safety for cyclists and should lessen motorist agression
  • Eliminates the ‘no-mans land’ issue at the “Y” intersection
  • Allows for the removal of the  ‘temporary’ bollards on NB Santa Cruz @ Y

Solution Positives:

  • A defined roadway with narrower traffic lanes is shown to reduce speed
  • Better visibility for residents, cyclists, and motorists
  • Greatly improved safety buffer, moving traffic away from sidewalk, parked cars

Scope – Cost:  

Low cost, using common estimation figures about $4k to $5k


 Animated Photos showing the shoulder lane stripe and the resulting lane definition.  Lane would be no wider than 10′ same as lane width of Santa Cruz on the Avy to Downtown s




Scroll to Top