Dangerous street yields lawsuit

Woodside Road has proven dangerous for pedestrians in recent years, and one woman has sued the city, state and Caltrans, alleging an intersection on the street is dangerous for pedestrians.

On April 23, 2007, Deborah Jo Iverson reportedly was crossing Woodside Road at Orchard Avenue when she was struck by a car, according to the lawsuit.

Iverson was hospitalized and, according to a claim she filed with the city last year, she sustained severe injuries and incurred medical costs of more than $15,000.

Though the police report listed the driver, Raymond Herrera, as the primary cause of the collision, Iverson’s attorney said the intersection is dangerous for pedestrians and holds Redwood City, the state of California and Caltrans responsible as well.

Caltrans spokeswoman Brigetta Smith said she could not comment on the case because it is open and ongoing.

Redwood City Finance Director Brian Ponty said he couldn’t comment on the case either, because he hadn’t seen it yet. He did confirm that the City Council rejected Iverson’s initial claim in January.

“The fact that we rejected it indicates that our initial investigation feels that the city’s not at fault,” he said.

Woodside Road, however, has proven dangerous for pedestrians in recent years.

Since 2004, there have been at least five fatal auto-pedestrian accidents on the road, and several others that resulted in critical injuries.

The intersections of Woodside Road at El Camino Real and Valota Road each typically see about 75,000 or more cars daily, according to Smith.

The street is a state route, and therefore not maintained or regulated by Redwood City.

Despite the state control, the city has launched efforts to make that road and others safer, proposing to lower speed limits on six busy roads from 30 to 25 mph, and adding three red-light cameras on Woodside Road.

In November 2006, a 74-year-old woman was fatally struck on the 1500 block of Woodside. In December of the previous year, a man was hit as he crossed the 700 block near Orchard. A few months prior, a woman was critically injured in almost the same place as she tried to cross the street.

In December 2004, Kathleen Shephard, 52, was killed in a hit-and-run as she was crossing Woodside at the 1500 block. Hers was one of three pedestrian fatalities on that road that year.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

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