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You nearly killed me

Original post made by Joel Henner, Duveneck/St. Francis, on Jun 16, 2006

If you are the driver of the brown, 1990s vintage BMW who failed to stop on westbound Embarcadero Road before making a right turn onto Newell Road at about 9:30 p.m. Monday, June 12 (after your light had turned red and the pedestrian walk signal was clearly illuminated), then you are the driver who almost ran me down while walking my dogs as I stepped off the curb.

May your soul be damned to eternal torment in Hell.

Note to Palo Alto Police Department: There is an appalling lack of enforcement of both the speed limit and the traffic signals in the Embarcadero/Newell area. That is the section of town by the firehouse, near Rinconada Park.

Those of us who press the button and wait patiently for the little white man in the signal box to illuminate before crossing the street would appreciate some greater police presence at this intersection.

School is almost out, and there will be a lot of kids on bikes, skateboards and foot at all hours of the day and night. No one will be too upset if an old guy walking his dogs gets clipped, but what a shame to see someone's child struck and killed.

Comments (9)

Posted by Community Center Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Jun 16, 2006 at 10:20 pm

I think your response is a little harsh. It was wrong for the driver to act as he did, but damning his soul to eternal torment in Hell? I understand your frustration and angst, but such a violent reaction/damnation is not the solution. People learn from love and understanding, not anger and shame.

Posted by Mario
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 17, 2006 at 11:43 am

I'm inclined to agree with Joel's sentiment. Its human nature to get pretty steamed when you see someone being so careless and obnoxious with their car. I love to deliberately drive 25 and watch the agressive drivers behind me squirm.

I think the "your speed is..." signs are good for careful drivers who need a gentle reminder that the speed limit is only 25, but obviously do nothing for people who choose to ignore the law.

Police resources are really stressed now, especially with the recent crime wave, so it might not be possible to park a manned cruiser on Embarcadero full time. I think they should put a real ticket-producing speed trap there whenever they can, and then possibly set up a number or website where you can report agressive drivers.

I also think the legislature should stop wasting time on things like "The Great American Boycott" and start enacting laws with teeth that punish agressive drivers. Lets make an example out of them - make them forfeit their cars, and instead drive Yugo's.

Posted by R
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2006 at 4:28 pm

Use this form to report traffic complaints: Web Link

Posted by wow
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jun 28, 2006 at 9:38 am

i agree with the poster's point but the post itself is a bit psycho....and i'm surprised the moderator hasn't deleted it

the police used to park a car on newell/embarcadero to catch red light offenders....they haven't done this in years. perhaps they can park a car in the corner of the fire dept. driveway to watch drivers who cut off pedestrians.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Midtown

on Aug 5, 2006 at 12:30 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Posted by Joel Henner
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 14, 2006 at 7:07 am

In June, the PA Weekly published my letter to the editor alerting residents to the dangers of red-light runners at the corner of Embarcadero and Newell Road. This morning we hear of a bicyclist who was struck by a van and injured at this same corner. Although the details of the accident are under investigation, this incident serves to remind us that being a pedestrian or a bicyclist on Palo Alto’s streets is dangerous. Drivers on our city’s streets routinely ignore posted speed limits. They do not come to a full and complete stop before making a right-on-red. With stunning regularity, they roll through stop signs. And these offenses are not limited to our major thoroughfares, but seem to occur even on quiet residential streets. Often, those of us who do obey the traffic laws when driving are subjected to tailgating, honking horns and aggressive lane changes by other drivers who are in a hurry, stressed out, chatting on the cell phone, or just plain rude. The police need to step up their enforcement of traffic laws in Palo Alto so the message gets out to all our neighbors, and to all those who pass through our city from other places, that Palo Alto is serious about traffic safety.

Posted by John
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 14, 2006 at 10:22 am


If you're blocking traffic, just pull over and let it pass you. Angering people who are in a hurry creates a problem that is even worse than merely exceeding the speed limit.

I heartily agree with you about intersection violations, though.

Posted by Barry
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 24, 2006 at 2:03 pm

"I love to deliberately drive 25 and watch the agressive drivers behind me squirm."

you are a dangerous hazard on the road. bitter, spiteful drivers that deliberately cause gridlocks and traffic jams just to irritate other drivers cause far more accidents than drivers who keep with the flow of traffic. please think about your hateful actions next time you try to assault drivers who are driving a reasonable amount over the speed limit instead of clinging to the speed limit out of pure vitriol and anger.

Posted by Glad I don't live in Palo Alto
a resident of another community
on Dec 15, 2006 at 3:11 pm

If one only had the Town Forums by which to judge what Palo Altans are like I'm afraid they would come to the conclusion that the town is full of judgemental paranoids who believe passersby are trying to kill them and the police are out to get them, they cast aspersions on dog owners, pass judgements on their neighbors' remodeling projects, complain about every mundane thing in the world no matter how insignificant, don't seem to realize that many of thier teen residents have alcohol problems and flaunt their superiority complexes where ever they go. Many of the threads I've read are catty, mean-spirited and down right sad! Relax Palo Alto, take a deep breath, introduce yourselves to your next door neighbor living in the Mc Mansion next door and have block party. Live a little, embrace the world outside your little narrow minded existences!!

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