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Two pedestrians seriously injured on El Camino

Original post made on Oct 1, 2012

Atherton Mayor Bill Widmer has sent a strongly worded message to Caltrans demanding that improved safety measures be put into place on El Camino Real -- the scene of yet another accident that left two pedestrians seriously injured after being struck by a vehicle Sunday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, October 1, 2012, 1:24 PM

Comments (12)

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Posted by We can stop this
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Drivers are the only one's who can ultimately make cars safe. Never 100% but most of the time, without question. slow down, pay attention, slow down, identify possible dangers, slow down, always be ready to brake, and slow down.
Being attentive means identifying crossing pedestrians before they cross.

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Posted by red light
a resident of Atherton
on Oct 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Put up a pedestrian-activated stop light. Car drivers treat that section of El Camino like a freeway. Nothing less than stop lights will get them to stop.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 1, 2012 at 2:08 pm

<Being attentive means identifying crossing pedestrians before they cross. >

If only it were that easy. Pedestrians are often very unpredictable, do not have signals, often wear dark clothing at night (not in this case) and often step out expecting cars to stop when it is not feasible or safe to do so. This is particularly so on four lane roads when trucks or large vehicles can hide a pedestrian about to cross from other road users.

I agree, flashing pedestrian lights would help at many pedestrian crossings. They work on Fabian, why not put them on ECR?

I hope that the two pedestrians recover swiftly and that the driver who appears to have been cooperative does also. It can't be easy knowing the harm caused which may or may not have been the driver's fault.

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Posted by don't blame the victims
a resident of Atherton
on Oct 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm

This collision happened at noon on a sunny day. Don't tell me that the women were invisible.

I don't buy the excuse that they just ran in front of the truck either. Drivers know to look for cross traffic as well as pedestrians near corners, so pedestrians rarely get hit near the ends of the crosswalk. The majority of these collisions happen in the middle of the street where the driver in a center lane is not paying enough attention to his or her surroundings.

On a multi-lane road, the car may have been hundreds of feet away when the pedestrian entered the crosswalk, but the car is moving so much faster that the pedestrian could not get out of the way.

The city needs to lower the speed limit on this street, beef up speed limit enforcement, and install traffic lights at these crosswalks.

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Posted by Mark
a resident of another community
on Oct 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm

That crosswalk is so poorly designed - everyone commenting is absolutely right, it should have pedestrian alerting systems. We cannot rely on the err is human.

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Posted by Deborah
a resident of Woodside
on Oct 1, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I Would not blame the driver either! If there is a bigger car on the lane next to him and that stupid driver blocks the vision and does not make a full stop for the pedestrians how is the other driver supposed to see the women coming acromos?!? the pedestrians Are also supposed to make eye contact with drivers and make Sure They see them and make a full stop before They go across.
I was at the scene yesterday and i Don't think we should blame the driver for this unhappy accident. It is up to the city to make improvements on that place where só many lives have been lost and changed fovever.
My heart goes out to the women who got seriously injured, the poor driver for the unlucky accident and for the other People who have lost their lives and their families!

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Posted by Elwood Blues
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Elwood Blues is a registered user.

This is a tragedy that didn't have to happen. Many (myself included) have been complaining about the dangers of this stretch of road for years. There have been numerous accidents, some fatal. Good for Mayor Widmer for raising a stink about this. I wish more people had done so sooner.

I hope Palo Alto Online will follow up and provide coverage on what - if anything - gets done. This is a situation where local journalism can make a difference.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Egan Middle School (Los Altos)
on Oct 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm

UPDATE: I personnally know the two pedestrians, thus I know the information that follows. One pedestrian is ok and will hopefully shortly be moved out of ICU. THe other one, who was launched 72 ft, remains in ICU, an dit is unkown if she will survive.

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Posted by It is very sad
a resident of Woodside
on Oct 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm

It is very very sad that AGAIN and AGAIN lives are being lost and or changed forever at that same place on El Camino!!


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Posted by john
a resident of Menlo Park
on Oct 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

If this is such a dangerous area of ecr, and ANY life is on the line, walk to the stoplight at Atherton Ave or Encinal Ave. You still have to be careful even at those crosswalks because drivers are humans. For the number of pedestrians that cross that dangerous section, they should treat that crosswalk like they are crossing a highway. People always want to eliminate any chance of these accidents from happening again, you can't. The car will always win when it's car vs ped. This section of ecr is unique due to only one side having commercial and the other side not a traditional neighborhood, commercial or having high pedestrian use.

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Any update on condition of pedestrians?

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Posted by resident
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

They are doing fine and have been released from hospital.

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