stoplightImagine  walking along the crosswalk in Berkeley (your right of way), minding your own business, when all of a sudden you hear a screeching sound on the pavement; your breath catches in your chest, your heart is racing and you jump back in alarm. This must have happened at some point in your life. People inevitably drive fast and oftentimes relentlessly, and if they have no prior warning or do not pay attention to warnings, results are bad, all bad.

Think about it: You could have been hit. Well, true story. A six-year-old girl was crossing near Malcolm X Elementary School, when she was suddenly hit by an oncoming car. After two whole years, the city is finally recognizing how dangerous a lack of warning signs is and has planned to spend over $54,000 on creating new alerts, including flashing lights and a repainted crosswalk. Recent updates indicate that they now hope to finish by September. Accidents happen daily; City of Berkeley, hurry it up!

Image Source: Taber Andrew Under Creative Commons
Berkeley Parents Protest Delay on School Traffic Lights [Inside Bay Area]

North crosswalk of Shattuck Avenue and Oregon Street.

Fend for yourselves, pedestrians.

Image Source: Rajesh Srinivasan
Earlier: The Fetal Position

3933222164_52788cde26Add biking and walking to angry mobs, trashcan fires and persistent spare change acquirers, on the list of dangers students face on the streets of Berkeley.

Records from the state Office of Traffic Safety show that Berkeley has consistently been one of the least safe—and in some cases the most unsafe—places in California for bicyclists and pedestrians for the last several years. It also happens to be a city with one of the largest populations of bikers and pedestrians.

Last year, 106 pedestrians were injured in collisions in Berkeley and three were fatally wounded; all the fatalities involved pedestrians in crosswalks. Especially vulnerable are children and old people. Berkeley ranked number one for pedestrian deaths for age 65 or above. Yikes. read more »