Friday, March 6, 2015

POSITION PAPER: “Public Safety of Primary Schools 
 at the Lincoln Avenue Road Diet Test Zone” 
 (bulb-outs) (Friday 6 March 2015)

Tim Mulcahy
President, Willow Glen Business Association
1261 Lincoln Avenue
San Jose CA 95125

Dear Tim,

There’s a few things that I would like to articulate about public safety around the areas of downtown Willow Glen’s two primary education schools; that’s with regards to street design and infrastructural improvements like curb extension (also known as bulb-outs).

Last week, one evening at home, I received a phone call from Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio. The conversation centered around my insistence that:

Three bulb-outs (curb extensions) to be placed at three corner locations:
  1. Lincoln at Minnesota Avenues, southwest corner in front of Dolcetto Cafe & Market
  2. Lincoln at Minnesota Avenues., southeast corner in front Starbucks
  3. Lincoln at Broadway Avenues, close to River Glen School
Councilmember Oliverio replied:
”I can not do all three this year, which one would you pick as the most important? And I'll get that one done this year… the other two, next year” [2016]
My comment:
“Let’s do the one on the southwest corner of Lincoln Avenue this year.”
[End page 1 of 5 from above]

My primary reason:
That corner where the young Willow Glen Student was hit by a car is in the street by a motorist.  She ended up on her back on the sidewalk.
Secondary reason:
With the two left turn lanes being added to north bound Lincoln Avenue —encouraging motorist to turn onto Minnesota Avenue — it would be adding more confusion to that corner.
Third reason:
Motorists going south bound on Lincoln Avenue arrive at that corner, blinded by an extra long yellow curb/ “commercial loading only” zone, in addition to 
  • Length and capacity of the curb space includes two large trucks; 
  • A kiosk is placed here by WGBA (Downtown Willow Glen)
  • A concrete planter with high New Zealand flax and other large greenery is situated at the corner
All of this obstructing the vision of motorists planning to make a right turn from Lincoln Avenue onto Minnesota Ave.
Make the Invisible, Visible.”
Install a bulb-out at this intersection, with its width being that of a parked car.
  • Thereby increasing the radius of the turn; and…
  • Thereby, improving visibility for motorists, so that they can see a pedestrian and/or cyclist just around the corner with the increased radius.
[End page 2 of 5 from above]

At the opposite side of the Lincoln Avenue, at the crossing of Broadway Avenue, we have another very dangerous intersection.
General issues involve:
  • A fatality accident occurring at Lincoln Avenue, between Garfield and Broadway Avenues, that is on record.
  • A Distance of merely 200 feet between Garfield & Broadway Avenue (by estimate). These two avenues — running perpendicular to Lincoln — are very close to each other.
An address to River Glen School issues include:
  • A River Glen School student who was hit by a car here, last year 2014, while walking to school.  The young individual was hit from behind, when a car jumped the curb and came to rest on the sidewalk.  This is very close to the corner of the intersecting streets.
  • A parent who was also hit by a motorist, when getting out from a parallel parked car to go pick-up her child from River Glen School.  She was found lying in the street by a school child that came running inside to tell the school’s principle (when in conference with myself).  This accident happened during the the same month and in the same area (as the incident mentioned above).
  • A bulb-out would have prevented both of these school related accidents, if it were located at the south-east corner of Broadway and Lincoln Avenues.  That’s in addition to the one that’s already at the north-east corner, which really serves little purpose.
[End page 3 of 5 from above]
Further road safety and traffic related emergencies include:
  • Two more pedestrian injuries caused by accidents with motor vehicles at the the Broadway and Lincoln Avenue crosswalk.
  • A separate rear-end collision (involving two motorists), that also happened at the same intersection.
  • Yet another pedestrian injury, between Garfield and Broadway Avenues, that was caused by a motorist.
Photographs of many of these accidents are kept in my files.
There is extensive paint tagging by street engineers, making use of various colors along the surface of Broadway and Lincoln Avenues.  That’s also included on its sidewalks and curb ramps. The appearance of this street tagging will lend a person to believe that there will be a great deal of work done here. 
With all the major work at this intersection, wouldn't it be financially responsible to do the bulb-out work at the same time?
SIDE NOTE to Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio:
I am very concerned when people are telling me, that you have been telling them… 
It's not going to happen.” (And) ”We have no money. 
Enough is enough…”  Many of us demand that we have safer street corners at Lincoln Avenue; especially those three identified in my above address. 
We need to work towards that outcome, now! 
It is my understanding, after talking with the engineers at San Jose Department of Transportation (DOT), that these three street corners (near the two schools), will be redesigned and improved as of of this June 2015.
[End page 4 of 5 from above]
By the way… 
It is also my understanding that all this work being done at Lincoln Avenue is being funded by U.S. federal grants. 
In order to be to be fully funded by the use of these grants; however
The street work must meet American Disability Act (ADA) requirements.

Richard Zappelli,
Chairperson, Stakeholders for a Safe Green Village — Willow Glen;
Partner, National Safe Routes to School (Bike/Walk to School)

[End page 5 of 5 from above]

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