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Unsafe Traffic Conditions Persist Near Albany Schools

Last week proved to be a dangerous one for those walking near Albany schools.

Albany school officials issued two alerts last week about dangerous traffic-related incidents near local schools.

In one incident, an Albany High School student was hit by a car while crossing San Pablo Avenue after school, according to an Albany Unified School District newsletter. Despite being thrown by the force of the hit, the student only sustained bruising. The speedy driver allegedly did not stop.

“Please talk with students about being vigilant while crossing these busy streets, especially during rush hour,” said the newsletter.

Also last week, a Marin Elementary School teacher was almost hit by a parent driver while crossing an intersection on her way to school in the morning.

“I know some days you are in a hurry to get your child to school on time; but, please slow down and be more aware while driving. Now the weather is changing and it's more difficult to see in the rain,” read a message from school Secretary Janet Nichols.

drennen shelton December 11, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Where on San Pablo did this happen?
Laila Kearney (Editor) December 11, 2012 at 09:36 AM
Hi Drennen, I don't have that information right now, but I'll see what I can get from the school district.
Jim Beller December 11, 2012 at 02:50 PM
The National Traffic Safety Administration released figures this week showing that traffic deaths are at their lowest levels since Truman was in office, but bicycle deaths rose 8.7% to 677 and pedestrian deaths rose 3% to 4,432. There have been many automotive improvements protecting the occupants, we are still waiting for the anti-collision system that protects pedestrians and bikers.
rex higginbotham December 11, 2012 at 03:15 PM
I wonder if more people are bicycling and walking. I know I am. so maybe there isn't an increase in percentage of accidents to total people waiking and bicycling.
Karin Lamb December 11, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Crossing San Pablo has always been tricky. Trafffic lights on this highway (yes, officially it is a highway) are controlled by Caltrans, and walk phases are so short that it is nearly impossible for some folks to get across the street during a walk signal, especially the very young, mobility impaired and the.elderly. the walk phase at Solano and San Pablo is only around 21 seconds, and I have seen many people not get across even starting the moment the light goes green. Cars are impatient, and often vehicles that are turning right barely stop and really don't look. Frankly, I'm surprised there haven't been more accidents involving students--who often are not as cautious as they should be.when assessing traffic while crossing.
Senior A. Titude December 11, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Unless the law has changed, if someone is in the crosswalk (or corner of an intersection) cars are supposed to come to a complete stop to let them cross. Drivers now seem to think that means rolling until you can gun your car a foot beyond the pedestrian. And any near miss is fine as long as you wave your hand. Getting in a car does not mean your trip is the most urgent and does not excuse inattention, impatience, or insensitivity to those who use other forms of mobility.
Mary Rees December 11, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Did the hit-and-run on San Pablo get reported to the Albany Police? If so, they should have information on the incident. Also, is the AUSD asking the police to have a greater presence near the schools at drop-off and pick-up times? I think that the school district's pressure would have a greater effect than isolated calls from individual parents. I am concerned about the intersection at Santa Fe and Solano, where it seems a regular practice for drivers to accelerate, trying to beat a red light -- but losing the race. Those drivers do not seem to care that bunches of schoolchildren are waiting at the corner to cross and could step out in front of them when the light turns green and their walk signal comes on. Where is the newsletter that goes out to the drivers, imploring greater vigilance? I think it has to come in the form of tickets issued. At the very least, posting an officer at the corner a few times a week might cause drivers to slow down. Ideally, we could again have a crossing guard at that intersection after school.
Whitney December 13, 2012 at 01:15 AM
The Albany middle school students are not paying attention when crossing the streets. They dart out right in front of you and asume that you are going to stop for them. I have no problem stopping but they need to be more cautious.
Ross Stapleton-Gray December 13, 2012 at 02:09 AM
I've found that the AMS staff, including principal Parenti and vice principal Neuman, are good about calling out kids and parents who don't abide by the rules (e.g., jaywalking). I've found the high school, by contrast, something like a human game of Frogger, where kids will pop out between parked cars on Thousand Oaks; they also don't particularly care when they cross, so cars will be held up for many minutes by a thin stream of kids crossing in a crosswalk, just steady enough to keep interrupting traffic. I wonder if it's a liability issue that keeps AHS from doing what even my elementary school did, growing up... putting bright orange sashes on "safety patrol" seniors, and having them assist with getting kids across safely, and cars through appropriately.
Robert Smith December 13, 2012 at 06:28 PM
If you are driving the posted limit...or less...there should be no problem stopping in time. Much like deer crossings, YOU have to be vigilant.

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