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Please stop the speeding on W. Las Positas before a child is hit!

Original post made by Grace on May 5, 2008

I am about at the end of my understanding and patience with some of the drivers in this town, and implore the police department to start taking this situation more seriously before a fatal accident happens. Once again, I was driving eastbound on W. Las Positas, coming over the 680 overpass. I always drive 38-40 mph; granted, that's up to 5 miles over the posted speed limit already. Coming down over the overpass where it is a single lane, I almost ALWAYS have a big-a** SUV or truck riding my bumper, just jonesing for the second that the lanes split into two so that they can tear around me into the other lane, often making a sharp jog to the right lane to make their obnoxious point. This time, as some other times, there was a bicyclist in the bike lane and she ALMOST got hit by the big-a** SUV, with the driver yacking away on his hand-held cell phone, going 50, then 55 mph.

My fault? Some would say so; after all, I was poking along at 40. Well, what is the speed limit there? Is it ok for these SUVs to pick up 50, 55, 60 mph as they fly down off the overpass? Is anyone paying attention to the speed limit on either side of the freeway overpass?

Where are the police officers with this enforcement? Or are we all just playing roulette, waiting for a fatal bike-SUV injury there?

God, I pray not.

Comments (17)

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 5, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Build the freeway exchange at that overpass. Install some lights there. That will slow down the inconsiderate drivers.

Posted by Grace, a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 5, 2008 at 7:56 pm

Stacey, thanks for reading the topic and thanks for the suggestion. I usually don't disagree with your comments, but I think I'm going to have to this time. I really don't think that the now-defunct (pretty sure that's the current status) extra freeway interchange is the solution to this problem. It seems that some oversight/vigilence in terms of motorcycle traffice police patrols or signage/flashing blinkers to remind drivers of the POSTED speed limits and the danger would be in order. Isn't that part of the job of the Pleasanton Police Department and/or Traffic/Transportation Dept.?

As for the use of "inconsiderate" above, I also beg to differ. I would call these drivers "dangerous", not "inconsiderate", according my concerns for the children on bicylces and according to Merriam-Webster dictionary:

inconsiderate Main Entry:
\ in-k n- si-d( -)r t\
careless of the rights or feelings of others

dangerous Main Entry:
\ d n-j -r s; d n-j rs, -zhr s\
1 : exposing to or involving danger 2 : able or likely to inflict injury or harm

I can personally "deal" with inconsiderate drivers. However, it's the dangerous drivers that concern me greatly.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 5, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Sorry, I was being facetious about the interchange. Seriously though, I think the police take complaints regarding problems in certain areas like this. Regarding inconsiderate drivers, you're right that they are being dangerous. My belief though is that being inconsiderate leads to being dangerous. Considerate drivers don't normally drive dangerously.

Posted by Grace, a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 5, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Agreed, that interpretation sounds right. Still, I hope that something can be done to educate drivers about how they are putting others at risk, especially on this stretch of road. If there's no response from the PPD to indicate they've read this post, then I'll probably contact the police chief directly, after today's scare. It would be helpful, though, to have support from other residents about their experiences as well.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on May 7, 2008 at 12:23 am

From time to time one or more motorcycle officers with the handheld radar will setup in the west exit of DMV and do a land office business. Haven't seem them there for quite a while. At times it's almost as dangerous going west on W. Las Positas where the two lanes merge into one lane to go over 680.

Posted by 5.0, a resident of Birdland
on May 8, 2008 at 2:10 pm

That intersection at Muirwood and W. Las Positas needs a stop light. I can see some kids getting hurt there one day also put a giant median in like uppper W. Las Positas, make it one lane, that will bottle neck it more and FORCE people to slow down.

Posted by 5.0, a resident of Birdland
on May 8, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Also as much as I hate to say this I agree with Stacey they need a freeway interchange there

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on May 8, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Also as much as I hate to say this I agree with 5.0 they need a freeway interchange there.

5.0, how are you going to make your elected officials accountable?

But wait, you're not that responsible are you? Tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

Posted by Resident, a resident of Foothill Farms
on May 9, 2008 at 6:57 am

Putting a freeway interchange at West Las Positas would add to the mess. They put flashing yellow lights on Foothill Road just before the High School and they still go over 35 MPH there. I think the topic was about driving eastbound on West Las Positas on the east side of 680. Not on the west side of 680. As long as people use our streets to avoid the freeway you are going to have this problem. Speeding is a problem just about anywhere in the Bay Area. The police can't be everywhere. All you can do is move to the right side of the roadway and let them pass. They will get caught sooner or later.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 9, 2008 at 7:38 am

It is debatable that putting a freeway interchange there would add to the mess. When you make more connections, you balance load more evenly. It may be true that some drivers would end up using city streets, but so would residents. They'd stop having to get off at Stoneridge or Bernal and speeding down Foothill or Hopyard or Valley to get over to their homes near West Las Positas.

Posted by Muirwood Dr. resident, a resident of Foothill Farms
on May 9, 2008 at 5:12 pm

The post was about speeding, talking on a cell while driving, and an unsafe lane change. How did a freeway interchange get into all that. What does an inconsiderate driver have to do with a freeway interchange? Why does anyone have to speed to get to their homes. That interchange is not going to stop people from talking on their cells. It will not stop people from speeding. It will not stop people from being incocsiderate drivers. What will help is keeping alert for these people and stay out of their way.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 9, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Well, if you read the preceding posts carefully, your question is already answered.

Posted by Homeower, a resident of Foothill Farms
on May 9, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Stacey, you are never going to get it. You never made your point.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 9, 2008 at 7:30 pm

Which point did I not make? The one regarding the traffic lights that would invariably accompany a freeway interchange which would contribute to slowing speeding drivers down? Or the one regarding the concept of more interconnections which would lessen congestion? Did you know that BART is considering putting a third door on train cars to ease congestion at the current doors? Do you see the analogy?

Posted by Neighbore, a resident of Val Vista
on May 10, 2008 at 7:51 am

Stacey, you failed to make any point. Are you a traffic engineer or a real estate agent. The interchange issue is dead. Move on. I do not see your analogy on bart/speeding inconsiderate drivers/freeway interchange. You got lost somewhere trying to bring up the interchange issue again. That neighborhood is already overloaded with cut through traffic as it is.

Posted by Traffic is OK, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 16, 2008 at 10:49 am

Based on lack of action to resolve this over a significant amount of time. It is obvious your elected officials DO NOT see traffic as a problem..... Therefore LIVE WITH IT, or elect new officials who have an agenda with fixing traffic as thier #1 issues.

Posted by Grace, a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 16, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Hi, the post from Muirwood Dr. resident, above, was correct: "The post was about speeding, talking on a cell while driving, and an unsafe lane change". That was my original point, and while the other posts about freeway interchanges and cross-town traffic may be interesting, they're not what I had been concentrating on when I made my original comment.

I still really DO think that incorporating a flashing "speed limit/your speed" sign would be of great benefit. Another poster said that the similar sign on Foothill around the high school has not had any positive impact, but I'm not certain about that. One problem with the speed on Foothill is that it changes about 5 different times in the stretch of road between Stoneridge and just south of Bernal so it's hard to keep track of what's what and where: 45 - 35 - 45- 35-except when students are there and it's 25 - then 35 again, then 45, then 40 - yikes!!

The flashing speed limit signs on Black Ave. seem to really have the desired effect of slowing the traffic down to 25 mph or close to that. My suggestion is to have traffic cops (motorcycle, near the foot of the overpass downhill since everyone sees the supposedly-hidden police cars at the DMV) on random assignment there, plus put up one of the flashing "your speed" signs. Going 50, 55 down that overpass is just an invitation for split-second disaster, as we have seen before, very sadly. Add bikes and joggers to the mix and it's worse.

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