Slow day on the blog when I have to write about a new stop sign being installed in San Carlos? Actually, no. There are a couple of reasons why the new stop sign on Laurel Street at Belmont Avenue newsworthy. First of all, it’s a darn good idea. This intersection is right behind Walgreen’s and Trader Joe’s, and it’s tough to cross Laurel at this intersection in a car, let alone on foot. With all of the pedestrian traffic that these stores draw from the White Oaks neighborhood, a safe place to cross Laurel Street was desperately overdue.
Now, the hard part will be to not blow through the new stop sign as you drive down Laurel. Hey, old habits die hard…
A Tough Order.
There’s another reason why it’s worth mentioning — from my own personal experience, it must be easier to get a bill through Congress than it is to get a stop sign installed in San Carlos. Years ago, we got a petition signed by all of the neighbors on Howard Avenue to get a stop sign installed on Howard at Dayton Avenue. Howard is a popular drag strip street, where most drivers blatantly disregard the speed limit. That intersection at Dayton is the only way for many Brittan Acres kids to get across Howard, and it’s a nasty blind curve.
We even hosted a neighborhood meeting that was attended by then-mayor Sally Mitchell, Police Chief Jim Granucci, and City Engineer Parviz Whats-his-name. The neighborhood was unanimous in their demand for a four-way stop sign with cross walks.
What we got was this.
They call this nifty little creation a “roundabout” but it would have been more aptly named a “runaround” because that’s essentially what it was. It looks pretty, but is completely useless at slowing down traffic…er, unless it’s the fire engine — the one vehicle you don’t want to slow down. And rather than make things safer for pedestrians, cars are now forced to drive directly at the corner that your standing on to maneuver the curve. That’s always fun.
While You’re At It..
So while maintenance crew has the paint, poles and stop signs in the truck, there’s another intersection that could really use one: Laurel Street at Cherry Street. Have I seen a number of near-misses at the intersection. Half the drivers seem to think it’s a 4-way stop, and the other doesn’t — not a good mix. Probably wouldn’t hurt to drop one at Olive Street too. Too many signs? Just look at the Broadway shopping district in Burlingame – they have stop signs at just about every intersection. Slowing down traffic would do nothing but help the businesses on Laurel.
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