Safety improvements to beef up crosswalk

A bevy of attention-grabbing devices will likely be added to the crosswalk of San Carlos Avenue at Chestnut Street, the site of a fatal pedestrian accident three and a half years ago.

Among the devices the City Council approved Monday for study are multicolored asphalt strips that highlight the crosswalk, yield-to-pedestrian signs that light up, and radar-based signs that tell drivers how fast they’re going.

Council members asked Public Works Director Parviz Mokhtari to report back by July 9 regarding the cost of the measures.

“The whole stretch of San Carlos Avenue has had 35 accidents,” said Councilman Matt Grocott. “That’s quite a few. We need to find a way to slow cars down.”

One of the more alarming accidents happened Dec. 5, 2003, when San Carlos Adult Community Center patrons Margaret McEnnerny, 78, and Mariana Parise, 74, were struck by an SUV in the non-signalized crosswalk. McEnnerny died of her injuries.

Grocott suggested that funding for safety measures be allocated from grant money secured by the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.

The vote followed a May recommendation from the Traffic and Circulation Commission that the crosswalk remain as-is despite safety fears from Community Center patrons who use it daily.

Many who spoke Monday night said that cars flout the 30 mph speed limits because San Carlos Avenue is a commute corridor.

“That intersection is very dangerous,” said resident Ray Bogden, who uses a wheelchair. “I want all the cars to slow down. [When I’m on San Carlos Avenue] I feel like I’m on Highway 101.”

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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