Millbrae keeping eye on crossing

A flurry of complaints about jaywalkers and red-light runners at Millbrae Avenue and El Camino Real has police stepping up patrols at the busy intersection.

According to the Police Department log, residents have put in requests asking police increase patrols at the intersection after several vehicles reportedly did not stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Police Sgt. John Aronis said there was also an increase in reports of people dashing haphazardly across the street when cars had the right-of-way.

The wide intersection — which has three left-turn lanes on westbound Millbrae Avenue — makes it difficult for a police officer to properly keep watch over the intersection, Aronis said.

But Aronis and other city officials say some of the problems with enforcement should be alleviated in approximately two months’ time, when red-light cameras are slated to be up and running there.

Plans to install the red-light cameras at the intersection of El Camino Real and Millbrae Avenue follows what is considered a successful run at camera enforcement at Millbrae Avenue and Rollins Road. The city is waiting for additional approval from Caltrans, which oversees the state-owned El Camino Real, before proceeding.

Caltrans spokeswoman Lauren Wonder said there were 26 accidents at this intersection between January 2004 and December 2006, none of them fatal. Of those 26 accidents, 10 resulted in injury, she said.

Red-light cameras had been high on the city’s wish list, particularly at El Camino and Millbrae Avenue, before the City Council approved an agreement with Arizona-based red-light camera manufacturer American Traffic Solutions last year.

The cameras at Millbrae Avenue and Rollins Road, installed in September, have already had a positive impact, according to Aronis.

In three and a half months, 801 red-light citations were handed out, a staggering reduction from the 1,023 in four hours tallied by ATS during a trial period a year ago, Aronis said.

In 2004-06, the city saw eight injury collisions and 15 accidents yielding property damage at the Millbrae Avenue and Rollins Road intersection. Aronis estimated that a third of them were caused by red light violations.

tramroop@examiner.com


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