The Santa Cruz Ave/Alameda de las Pulgas "Y" intersection design, both the current and the plan County is promoting, are plagued with serious safety issues:
- Creates an unsafe situation for residents to enter/exit
- Unsafe for pedestrians to cross due to angled crosswalks and crosswalks that are excessively long
- Significantly skewed intersection
- Blind corners putting pedestrians at high risk
- Too many confusing traffic signals that are unclear
- High speed 'slip' curve designed for 50 mph
- High risks to cyclists
- ... see the FAQ on "What are the safety issues at the Y"
Unfortunately, the 'new' County plan does not resolve these issues; for instance, to cross Alameda on the north crossing currently means the pedestrian has to walk the equivalent of 9 traffic lanes due to angle and poor design. To cross under the new design the pedestrian has, to walk the equivelent of 12 traffic lanes (33% longer!). In contrast, under the Community safety option 10.5 design, the pedestrian crosses just 2 lanes, meaning the pedestrian is in the intersection for about a quarter of the time.
Another example is that the high speed slip turn that not only encourages speeding but also creates a high risk to pedestrians and residents at the "Y". Traffic engineers have recommended its replacement by a turn designed for 25 mph (not 50 mph). This lower speed design elemenates the angled skew of the intersection with a reccomend perpendicular design and is in concert with traffic calming goals for improved safety and derived from the UC Berkeley Pedestrian Safety Assesment.
Since the County's 'new' design is using the exact same basic intersection footprint as what we currently have, it can't address the many issues that currently exist. Compared to the Community's Safety Option 10.5 that does address all of the safety issues, the County's new design seems like a lot of money to spin wheels and not significantly gain on safety and leaves our pedestrians and residents with undue risk. County's plan is, as the old saying, putting libstick on a pig.
To view an interactive comparison of all the designs for the "Y", please view the Pro-vs-Con discussion.