Poll: Is It Time for More Stop Signs on Laurel Street?

April 4, 2013

Head on a Swivel.

If you've ever driven the stretch of Laurel Street in San Carlos between Arroyo and San Carlos Avenues  then you'll know it has become nothing short of a white-knuckle ride during peak hours of the day.   Between people backing out of parking spots unexpectedly, or hanging illegal U-turns, or having pedestrians crossing at half a dozen spots on the street, you really have to have your head on a swivel to safely navigate this street.  It's surprising there aren't more mishaps along this stretch of the road.

But two areas in particular on Laurel always make me grip the wheel just a little bit tighter  — I'm speaking of none other than the intersections on Laurel Street at both Cherry Street and again at Olive Street (one is by Peets Coffee, and the other by Bianchini's Market.)   As you know, these are not currently 4-way stop intersections — traffic on both Olive and Cherry have stop signs, but not on Laurel.    Here's a map of that area with the two intersections marked:

View Laurel Street, San Carlos in a larger map

I don' t know why it is, but it seems like all that good stuff we learned in Driver's Ed about how to negotiate a stop sign at a two-way intersection seems to have gone out the window at these two intersections.    It's either drivers on Olive or Cherry who think it's a 4-way stop,  and then try to cross when they mistakenly think that traffic on Laurel is going to stop.  Or, it's drivers on Laurel who randomly stop at the intersection thinking it's a 4-way stop, which confuses just about everyone (cars and pedestrians alike) who are trying to get across.  If there's a Twilight Zone anywhere in San Carlos, it's probably at these two intersections.

So at the risk of making Laurel Street look like Broadway in Burlingame (where there seems to be a stop sign every 10 feet) I think it's time to put stop signs on Laurel Street at both of these intersections.  I think it will eliminate the rampant confusion that seems to overcome many drivers that navigate these intersections every day.

Time for a Poll.

So, what do you think?  Should San Carlos put additional stop signs on Laurel Street at the intersections of Olive Street and Cherry Street?   Or should they leave Laurel Street it as-is?   Register your vote in the poll at the top of the right sidebar of the blog.

Thanks for voting!

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  1. Kriselle Laran on April 4, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    There should be a stop sign at Olive and Laurel, next to Bianchini’s. This is by far the worst intersection for traffic on this street.My husband looked into it, and it appears that we’d need a valid petition to get things going for a stop sign there. Apparently, San Carlos also did a traffic study and the study showed that a stop sign there would be detrimental to traffic flow. Not sure how old that study is, but I’d rather have poor traffic flow in favor for safer corners.

  2. nl on April 5, 2013 at 4:24 am

    We needed 4 way stop signs at those two intersections years ago when traffic wasn’t nearly as bad as it is today. I think drivers on Olive and Cherry often lose their patients waiting for the appropriate time to cross Laurel and usually nearly misses a pedestrian while darting across.

  3. Samantha on April 5, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I agree TOTALLY. Write the City Council as nothing can be done without them: mgrocott@cityofsancarlos.org, molbert molbert@cityofsancarlos.org, bgrassilli bgrassilli@cityofsancarlos.org, rcollins rcollins@cityofsancarlos.org, kclapper kclapper@cityofsancarlos.org

  4. clifton on April 6, 2013 at 2:19 am

    I live on walnut and come to this stop all the time by the post office and Bianchini’s. It is one of the worst, whether you are a pedestrian or in a vehicle. I obey the law and I know there is no stop sign. It seems like most people have not clue. It sometimes seems like the average age of the driver here is about 150 years old. There have been head on crashes and many peds have come very close to being hit. I think it should be a four way stop, mostly cus a lot of drivers think there is one. As far as backing up traffic……well, the way Laurel is, there will always be backed up traffic, either people stopping for non-existent stop signs, or, waiting for the perfect parking stop as close to Starbucks as possible. An even better spot is is Morse and Laurel where you can’t see traffic coming down Laurel at all, this is the street with the Condo Complex and the Car Wash.

  5. Sc resident on April 15, 2013 at 4:52 am

    I have requested twice to the city council the past 5 years for a 4 way stop sign. and it was put on city meeting agenda. Both times the city did a study and determined there was not enough evidence for a 4 way stop sign…

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