Burlingame aims to nix excess signage

City officials hope to achieve more with less along Broadway by taking down traffic signs that are deemed redundant and clutter the bustling stretch of road between El Camino Real and California Avenue.

Sign removal will be a gradual process that will be completed by the end of the year and will include moving signs blocked by overgrown foliage, city engineer Augustine Chou said.

“Sometimes when you are driving, you see them and say, ‘I see three signs here and they all say the same thing,’” Chou said, adding that the signs compromise safety. “We have to figure out which is the single sign that makes the most sense and put it there so that it’s the most recognizable and observable.”

Some intersections have two “No-U-Turn” signs on the same pole. Adding to the confusion, most cross streets perpendicular to Broadway are one-way streets, requiring more signs.

“Sometimes they turn left when they can’t turn left because it’s one way, and then they realize it and they end up backing up,” said John Kevranian, owner of Nuts For Candy for the last 13 years.

The idea of installing stop signs along Broadway for these one-way streets has been discussed by the City Council for some time. City officials, however, rejected the idea because traffic problems had less to do with speeders and more to do with distracted drivers, said Victor James, who sits on the Traffic, Safety and Parking Commission.

“You can’t speed through there anyway,” he said. “This is more about inattentiveness.”

Driver confusion with street signs was highlighted in July when a girl was hit in a crosswalk by a car at Broadway and Paloma Avenue. She later recovered from her injuries. On April 12, 2007, the city won a $40,000 grant from the City/County Association of Governments toward the installation of an illuminated crosswalk on the intersection, which is expected to be installed as early as October, Chou said.

The funding was a portion of a grant totaling $116,000 for the city, with most of it going toward installing bike lanes on California and Howard avenues.

bfoley@examiner.com

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