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Original post made
on Sep 13, 2008
Reporter -- this is not the third recent accident, it is the fourth. On Friday Sept 5th a driver on a non-handsfree cellphone hit a pedestrian and a baby in a stroller in the crosswalk at Neal and First Street. This is the same crosswalk where a woman was critically injured previously. What will it take to get drivers to PAY ATTENTION and stop injuring or killing pedestrians who are legally crossing the street? Why was this accident not reported along with the name of the cell-phone-yapping driver?
The 1 out of 3 kids that actually ride their bike or walk to school in Pleasanton is hit by a vehicle. I hope he makes a speedy recovery. Please pay attention to pedestrians and bike riders and the public in general while driving.
Saying 'Please pay attention.." is not going to change anything. We are living in a narcissistic culture. Making a phone call while driving is more important than the welfare of random strangers crossing the street. If it's not your kid, who cares? Have you noticed the Harvest Park Middle School parents completely blocking the sidewalk on Harvest Drive used by Walnut Grove children walking home? They don't care that the elementary school children have to walk in the street or weave between bumpers because their SUVs and vans are blocking the sidewalk. Have you seen the SUVs, vans and cars that drive through crosswalks occupied by children, driving right behind their backs?
The traffic congestion around the schools has been created by the school district. When my kids attended Pleasanton schools 15 years ago there were school busses and very little traffic congestion. There were far fewer students at the schools and early bird and late bird arrival times. Why doesn't the district take responsibility for the problem?
The school district has little to do with the problem. Too many parents won't get out of their cars, and have their kids walk, bike, or take public transportation to school. I am amazed at how much free time these parents have , to be able to sit in their cars for almost an hour before dismissal just so their little darlings won't have to walk home. Furthermore, I'd like to echo the earlier post in regards to those drivers who are talking on their cell phones. News flash, very few of your conversations are so important that you need to be talking while driving! Just another indication of how this community has become so self-absorbed.
Thank you Proud supporter! Self absorbed is exactly the description of Pleasanton these days. I took a bus to school followed by a 1 mile walk home -- downhill in the morning, all uphill in the afternoon. Although my Mom was not employed outside of the home she NEVER picked us up, we were expected to WALK. And it did not kill us. I challenge the Weekly to publish the names of the cell yappers who cause accidents. It is public record if a police report has been filed. Your mani/pedi or botox appointment can be scheduled AFTER you park your vehicle. I think I will start using a "walking stick" (maybe made of rebar?) when crossing streets. If a yapper comes too close to me my "walking stick" just may make violent contact with their vehicle. HANG UP WHEN YOU DRIVE you morons. You are not the center of the universe.
Drivers need to be more careful. Yesterday, as I was driving on Valley Ave, I almost ran into an accident because another driver was not paying attention. It was a 4-way stop, it was my turn to go, but this car came out of nowhere (the driver was not paying attention at all). That is an intersection where kids cross all the time.
Yano? Pedestrians take advantage of the California Cross Walk law. They saunter like they have all day. They ignore the fact the crosswalk sign/beeper tells them NOT to walk. They consider themselves safe, so they pay more attention to the conversation underway on their Blue Tooth or the music on their iPod than personal safety. I believe they are just as accountable as the drivers.
Do you know why drivers have to be licensed and pedestrians don't? Pedestrians don't have a 1 ton advantage. Physics can be a harsh reality. Getting behind the wheel is like carrying a loaded gun around. You can try and blame the pedestrians, but with the odds stacked against them, you can understand why the law requires pedestrians to have the right-a-way.
I do understand the laws of physics, but if anything that only reinforces why people need to own their own behavior and remain aware of their surroundings.
When they start legislating and licensing thinking, then we'll know when we're really in trouble.
BTW, the odds were stacked against the Pilgrims and the early Western Settlers too. They survived by using their wits and leveraging common sense. Yano -- those things we've long forgotten about in light of technology and a self-absorbed society.
Another perspective -- please check your facts before blaming the victims. In both accidents at the corner of Neal and First the pedestrian was in the crosswalk, crossing on the green light and had the "walk" signal from having pushed the button and waited for the light. In both cases the pedestrians did NOT have on headsets or other distracting items. In both cases the SUV-driving women were talking on non-handsfree cellphones and NEVER EVEN LOOKED BEFORE PLOWING INTO THE PEDESTRIANS. I walk miles everyday and have had to jump out of the way of cell yappers and regular drivers every single day due to their complete inattention to anything but their own selfish little world. I routinely smack my hand on the rear of their SUV when they cut it so close that I have to move or be hit. From now on my "walking (rebar) stick" will make contact as I lose my balance trying to avoid near certain death. The police are doing an excellent job of citing cut-through speeders on First St, now please also check for cell yappers. They are as much a threat, if not more, than speeders. Just ask the survivors of the train wreck in LA.
"resident" please note my comments were GENERALIZED and not specific to these reported incidents. Perhaps I should start tallying and documenting the number of idiots who do exactly what I described and were fortunate enough to NOT be a victim.
Trust me, they are out there in grand numbers.
I do not disagree there are many idiots on cell phones who are behind the wheel of a car. However, there are equally as many on two legs or bicycles who expect to get the right of way regardless of whether it really belongs to them.
To the person who mentioned Mani/Pedi and Botox FYI men are just as guilty as women when it comes to not paying attention. I was almost run over by a man in a beautiful brand new BMW in his suit and tie who was non the less on a business call with a blue tooth but still did not have the brains to use them and stop before almost running me down in front of the school........multi tasking I guess is hard for both sexes
Of course men are just as guilty, but none of these specific accidents involved yapping men, it was always an SUV driving woman with her head where the sun does not shine.
For the record I agree that many times the pedestrians jaywalk or cross without a walk signal. Too dumb to live in those cases, fate will likely deal with them harshly. I also think cyclists who do not obey the laws should be cited. That goes for the Saturday groups that ride down First Street 3 and 4 across. Get out of the road or be road kill. I train for triathlons which includes running and riding on public streets. I have no headphones and comply with all traffic laws, so beware those of you who violate my rights and threaten my life, I fight back.
Anyone on 'two legs' or a bicycle should get the right of a way over a truck, which most people seem to drive around here, or any vehicle. Pedestrians ALWAYS get the right of way, regardless of whether they're jaywalking or whatever.
Per California's Pedestrian Laws, an individual on a bicycle does NOT fall under the same rules.
Look Here: Web Link
It says, "A pedestrian is a person on foot or who uses a conveyance such as roller skates, skateboards, etc., other than a bicycle."
It also says, "Rememberif a pedestrian makes eye contact with you, he or she is ready to cross the street. Yield to the pedestrian." I had to laugh at that one. When was the last time anyone actually made "eye contact" with you?
Relying on someone else to make sure YOU are paying attention is a dangerous game. As was all ready pointed out, those not having the "1 ton advantage" will lose.
Driving back from school yesterday, two teenagers just crossed the street without even looking if there were cars coming. This is not the first time this happens, and I am very careful and look out for pedestrians all the time, because I know that here in Pleasanton, most kids are fairly careless when it comes to crossing streets, whether on foot, bike or scooter. I think that for someone to cross the street without even looking is highly irresponsible and dangerous.
Pedestrians, bike riders, and car drivers all need to be more careful at all times, in order to avoid accidents.
This is not as common in other towns in the Bay Area, but here in Pleasanton, for some reason, kids think they can be careless and all will be ok. That combined with the carelessness of drivers who might be on the phone, listening to their ipods or simply distracted, is why P-town seems to have so many accidents.
I congratulate you for calling as you see it.
just wait until the stoneridge extension is built and cut-through traffic flows through the city. the number of children hit by cars will go up dramatically.
I agree with some of the previous comments, the majority of kids in Pleasanton seem oblivious to the common sense that is required to cross the road.
For those of you who scorn the moms waiting outside of the school for elementary kids for hours, I am one. First of all, as many mentioned before there are no buses here in Pleasanton. I live within walking distance of the elementary school and sometimes I do walk or ride my bikes with my kids. I will not have my kids walk or ride alone because of the fear of them getting hurt or killed by a driver. I have been present sooooo many times where folks see you about to cross the street with your kids and they drive FASTER through the crosswalk! Thanks but no thanks! On the days we cannot ride bikes or walk together, I will happily wait an hour outside of the school to ensure their safety!
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