Editor's note: This reader wrote a letter about his reaction to a rear-end collision that pushed a car into a pedestrian and injured two women on Oct. 3. Read the full story here.
Once again we have had a serious traffic incident where a pedestrian was hit while in a cross walk between the Bernard Osher Jewish Community Center and Venetia Valley School. Unfortunately my family and I were eye witnesses and saw the entire incident happen.
It is time Marin County, San Rafael City School District and the JCC address the serious traffic safety issues as well as the horrible traffic flow in this area. I have tried to work for roughly five years with Susan Adams, Marin County Traffic Department and Venetia Valley School.
Ms. Adams has been ignoring this issue. The head of the Marin County Traffic Department has refused to implement any of the ideas or consult with the school for improved traffic flow after several ideas were discussed. The Marin County Sheriff's Department is lax in having a presence when the morning school traffic is happening. If they are present, they sit in their vehicle with no help to getting drivers attention to move traffic smoothly and safely.
Now we have had a pedestrian who appears to have been a JCC employee crossing over to the Venetia Valley side of the street. Why? Was her vehicle parked in the Venetia Valley parking lot? Was she a responsible citizen who walked to work or was crossing to get to a bus stop because her employer will not provide adequate parking for their employees or a safe route for those who are environmentally conscious?
Unfortunately, we have a driver who has now injured two women. Although he hit the women, the prevention of something like this happening falls squarely on Marin County, JCC and the school district. This issue has been going on for over 15 years, with a few minor fixes that give minor traffic relief in the past and a whole lot of ignoring and hoping something won’t happen. Well it just did.
The JCC provides inadequate parking for the facilities and programs. There is not enough parking for every day operations let alone when special events are scheduled. People are parking irresponsibly and crossing North San Pedro irresponsibly. It is the JCC’s issue as they are not providing a safe and adequate venue for their members, employees, school children and parishioners. These folks have no choice and create a very hazardous situation.
The school district has overloaded Venetia Valley School with families from outside of the neighborhood which brings in extra traffic that would otherwise not be in our area. They have ignored suggestions on how to improve flow and safety. They have been unable to keep a consistent administration who actually have time to focus on children’s safety. They are too busy getting familiar with their school and physically cannot do all that is needed.
The traffic department completely ignored suggestions that were pretty easy and with limited cost to improve flow and safety for our school children. I specifically asked for a consultation with the department and the head of the department refused. This was most recently done in May of this year.
The sheriff’s office is totally inactive when it comes to the morning and after school traffic. If by sitting in your vehicle and watching is helping, then I guess I have missed something. They also need to enforce traffic and parking laws.
What can we do to fix these problems? They can no longer be ignored as this could have been a child or someone you know.
After having my wife and daughter witness this accident, I am feeling guilty in part for having given up. During our usual drive on N. San Pedro to work the other morning, I told my wife that the county and the district had worn me down. I typically cannot be worn down, but ignorance and a total lack of care is something I could not fight. Well, after what happened, I will not quit.
I don’t know which is harder, dealing with agencies that refuse to listen or act or trying to console my 9-year-old daughter who cried for roughly two hours and said she is never going to cross a street again and that all she can see in her mind is the lady being thrown up onto the hood of the car and falling to the ground. What do you think is harder?
I am requesting the Board of Supervisors, Marin County and San Rafael City Schools being to fix a correctable problem. I will not quit this time and will take it as high and to as many people and agencies as I have to.
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- Pedestrian was Outside of Crosswalk During Fatal Car Accident