Vision-Zero policy has zero vision

For more than 30 years we have requested a traffic signal at Broadway and San Jose Avenue. The reasons were simple: kids walking to and from school combined with an abnormal accident rate. 

When I did contact Caltrans about it, the district manager’s reply was, “It is cost-prohibitive. There are not enough accidents to justify a signal. It would interfere with traffic flow.”

The conversation ended by suggesting I take the issue to the City of Alameda, which I did. The city replied with a gold-seal embossed letter in which they passed the buck back to Caltrans. Caltrans installed a couple of pedestrian paddles in the middle of the street that get torn off as soon as they are installed. They are currently broken. 

That district manager did not approve when I told him I do not slow down for the cones as they interfere with my ability to drive quickly. The Public Works director has changed and still nothing has changed at Broadway and San Jose Avenue. 

This is a major crossing serving hundreds of school children who have to dart between traffic on Route 61. Can you imagine a tractor trailer rushing to deliver beer slam on its brakes, leaving a burnt-rubber trail three houses long and still not be able to stop? I have seen it happen. The kids were in the crosswalk. Nothing is being done because it is Highway 61, while on the Webster Street portion of the highway, they have a traffic signal for every grasshopper. 

If there is a rise in pedestrians hit in this crosswalk it is primarily due to new residents unfamiliar with the traffic patterns and people on their cell phones speeding to get nowhere. There have been at least three drivers who perished after a plunge into the San Leandro Bay where there is no guard rail. These accidents happened at slow speeds. A safety rail would have saved them. 

I am asking cold and plain will it be your kids going to school to be hit? Who’s next that will take the plunge in the estuary or the bay? Do not blame the police as they are doing what your “Zero Vision” Policy is forcing them to do. Give them the technology and the staff to enforce the laws which they were able to do 20 years ago. In my opinion there is a direct correlation between the creation of this policy and a rise in accidents and crime.


Joel Rambaud