Town Square

Letters to the Editor--pedestrians at risk

Original post made on Aug 24, 2007

Pedestrians at risk in crosswalks

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 24, 2007, 12:00 AM


Posted by Jim Ott
a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 24, 2007 at 7:23 am

Thank you Daryl Vane for your letter to the editor about the need to remind adult drivers that pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks. More and more it seems drivers around Pleasanton are in such a rush that they will either try to gun past pedestrians or simply won't see them or have a sense of entitlement to the roadway.

One recent example: My wife and I were out for a run at about 7 p.m. last evening, well before sunset, and as we headed for home via the intersection at Valley Avenue and Santa Rita--then took those few short steps from the traffic light island to Orloff Park--we caused the traffic turning right onto Santa Rita from Valley to have to pause. The first driver politely stopped for us, but the next driver sounded her horn at the first driver, as if to ask, "Why are you stopping, you idiot?" After we crossed to safety, the cars began to move, yet the third driver sounded his horn, looked at us, and raised his middle finger.

We were, of course, dismayed. Our run caused these two drivers to slow their motorized journey for about 5 seconds, yet they felt the need to honk their horns and show their distate for us and our choice to be outside enjoying what otherwise was a beautiful evening in our town.

I encourage anyone reading this who drives to slow down and give pedestrians and cyclists a break. Let's make Pleasanton a town where people who walk and run and cycle feel safe.

Posted by Jennifer Hosterman, Mayor, City of Pleasanton
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 24, 2007 at 2:41 pm

I think one of our greatest quality of life issues in our town of Pleasanton has become speeding vehicles. On the eve of Pleasanton children returning to school, I spent most of this week's Mayors Report (Channel 30) addressing school matters and safety issues. For one, even though we don't have school busing, the Wheels Bus does offer bus service to and from the high schools, as well as the middle schools. And, middle school children ride for FREE for the first two weeks! What a wonderful way to teach a little independence, free up car time, reduce congestion on City streets during the school commute times, and increase safety in our school parking lots. Let's not forget fewer cars on the road equates to lesser carbon emissions - good for our environment. I hope parents will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Please see for more information! In addition, if you have an interest in walking to school with others, or biking to school with others, or carpooling, you can access a "matchlist" to find others in your neighborhood who would like to do the same through I hope families find this information helpful. Back to speeding. . .

I well-recall having three daughters who, at one time, attended three different schools in Pleasanton. All three needed to be picked up from their respective school sites at exactly 2:50, and for much of the year, had to be deposited on three different sports fields at exactly 3:00, or risk extra laps or even being benched for game. It wasn't easy being a parent and wanting to do the right thing then, and it is even more difficult, today.

We live in a fast paced world, where every moment of our lives counts. We all lead busy lives, where responsibility equates with punctuality. Sure, we all have those terribly rushed mornings where nothing seems to go according to plan - not enough milk for cereal, jeans still wet in dryer, misplaced homework assignment, and where on earth did I leave my shoes? I ask that everyone who reads my note please give some thought to rising in the morning in time to pull the day together, and commute to schools and jobs safely, within the posted speed limit, and allowing time for bicyclists and pedestrians along the way to likewise make their commute, safely.

This is, after all, Pleasanton. It's up to each and every one of us to keep it that way.

I will attempt to continue to address issues of concern to all of us on my blogsite which is accessible through

I remain yours in service,

Jennifer Hosterman
City of Pleasanton

Posted by Steve Brozosky
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 24, 2007 at 5:39 pm

"Interesting" group of responders to this item. Jim, I was that "polite driver" that stopped to let you and Pam cross. I did not know it was you until after you crossed because of the sun in my eyes. I was floored that the person behind me got upset and honked at me for stopping; which is not only the law but also the right thing to do. People need to remember that the pedestrian has the right of way. Unfortunately, many people do not seem to observe this law. Stopping for a pedestrian is almost viewed as a "random act of kindness". I always stop for the pedestrians who are awaiting to cross a street. I almost always get the biggest smile and thank you from the pedestrian. Besides following the law, I make somebody happy and I get a sense of satisfaction for making that person happy. It only takes about 5 second but it makes such a positive impact in others and yourself. You should all try it!

On the buses, while I was on the Board of Directors for the Wheels Bus System, I was one of the strongest advocates for school tripper service. It is so congested at our schools at drop-off and pick-up time. The bus will reduce a lot of stress in your life since you will not have to drive in that mess to school. This in addition to being good for the environment. While I was on the Wheels Board, we were able to add additional school tripper service which I believe has helped out traffic a bit in our city during school hours. I recommend that neighborhoods that are not currently serviced by a school tripper route for middle and high school to get together and start a petition to submit to the bus system asking them to consider adding service in your neighborhood. Make sure you have enough seriously interested people in your neighborhood and you have a good change of getting service. If you need help with this, feel free to contact me (I am listed and my contact information is on the Pleasanton School District Board of Trustees web page). It makes me smile to see the full buses going through the community as I know we are providing a real service.


Posted by Kay
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Aug 29, 2007 at 2:45 pm

Lived here in the Promenade Apts. for over five years, and every year the wonderful parents of both Pleasanton Middle School students and elementary school students seem to use our parking lot. Of cource they are concerned for themselves/child. When I come home, at the same time either I can not get in or park by my apartment or I am stopped by a kindly Police Officer. My children are attending PLEASANTON MIDDLE SCHOOL; School is WONDERFUL!!


Posted by Cindy
a resident of Heritage Valley
on Aug 30, 2007 at 3:06 pm

As a Pleasanton resident, I couldn’t agree more that drivers need to slow down and give pedestrians the right away. We need to be especially careful this time of year, with school starting. However, with that being said I have noticed over the past couple of years the teens becoming more irresponsible/inconsiderate of the cars and drivers. I have experienced extreme rudeness several time. I have had several occasions where kids on Greenwood Road, near Harvest Park would start crossing the street and stop in the middle of the crosswalk to wait for friends, they have even stopped and made faces and laughed at me and the other driver because they were stopping us from going. They know that they have the right away and they take advantage. My point is that the kids need to learn to be respectful of the drivers and move along as quickly as possible.

Drivers and pedestrians need to be aware of their surroundings, drivers need to slow down and give the right away, and pedestrians need to be respectful.