City, county battle over traffic

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Land in S.S.F. presents problems for residents

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — City officials are embroiled in two different debates with San Mateo County over traffic within South San Francisco’s borders, saying they hope the county respects its wishes concerning Westborough Boulevard and Alta Vista Drive.

Stretches of the two roads in South San Francisco are governed by the county and have been the focus of talks in the past month as officials attempt to curb accidents — the latest of which left two injured from an Oct. 5 crash — and limit speeding.

The county maintains that the city should take responsibility for the section of Westborough. Meanwhile, the county is proposing slots in the speed humps on Alta Vista to accommodate emergency vehicles and saying it doesn’t believe that traffic will be diverted from Alta Vista if the devices are installed.

Mayor Joe Fernekes called the issues at the two locations as different as “night and day,” noting that a median on Westborough between Junipero Serra Boulevard and Camaritas Avenue — the county’s land — “would save lives,” while speed humps on Alta Vista would divert traffic onto city streets.

“This is like an island. We’d hope the county would look at our laws and regulations before they do anything,” Fernekes said of the stretch on Alta Vista.

In a strongly worded Oct. 5 letter to the county Board of Supervisors, Fernekes wrote of recent fatal and near-fatal accidents due to cars crossing over the center lines and crashing into other cars.

Neil Cullen, the public works director forthe county, said that “logically” the section of Westborough “belongs as a city street” but there “hasn’t been a large impetus” toward incorporating the area into the city. He said the county is working to solve the problem, including installation of a guardrail and taking away a lane on Westborough.

“I think the county manager has encouraged all along that it would make good sense for the city to maintain and to take responsibility for all of Westborough,” added Mary McMillan, assistant county manager.

Along Alta Vista between Dorado Way and Alida Way, where there is a steep hill, county officials are seeking to put in four slotted speed humps, a plan receiving mixed reviews from residents in the area.

Some residents on neighboring Avalon Drive worry that traffic will only be diverted onto their street, which they say happened after the county installed speed humps on Country Club Drive.

The proposed slotted speed humps for Alta Vista Drive is expected before the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 7.

dsmith@examiner.com

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