Danville council OKs Lawrence Road traffic-safety plan

New three-way stop, raised median coming to neighborhood near middle school

A new three-way stop sign and raised center median are set to be installed along portions of Danville's Lawrence Road to allay traffic-safety concerns in a residential neighborhood near Diablo Vista Middle School.

The Danville Town Council voted in favor of the twofold proposal during its meeting Tuesday night at the Town Meeting Hall, according to Geoff Gillette, town public information coordinator.

"By installing traffic-calming devices, we better protect the neighborhood and certainly the Diablo Vista students most affected," Danville Mayor Robert Storer said in an email. "This council could not just stand by and remain silent and leave the situation as is, when safety concerns were raised by the neighborhood."

Officials estimate it will cost $62,000 to construct the new additions on the neighborhood collector street, which serves residential subdivisions at its northern end and semi-rural estate properties at the south end.

The 1.6-mile street in southeastern Danville -- with a posted speed limit of 30 mph -- has been on town officials' radar for the last decade-plus, with residents raising concerns about speeding, car wrecks and other driving issues in the neighborhood, according to Nazanin Shakerin, the town's traffic engineer.

A four-way stop sign with crosswalks was added to the Lawrence Road-Casablanca Street intersection in 2007, but a trio of crashes since 2008 still left residents unsettled about the traffic conditions, Shakerin said in his July 15 report to council members.

The council discussed in March the prospect of creating a three-way stop at the intersection of Lawrence Road and Jasmine Way, but sent staff back to the drawing board to develop a more comprehensive traffic-safety plan for the neighborhood.

The updated proposal returned to the council Tuesday night.

It again called for turning the Jasmine Way intersection into a three-way stop. Situated amid a slight curve along Lawrence Road, the junction currently has a stop sign for drivers on Jasmine Way, but no stops for those on Lawrence Road.

The second piece of the updated plan recommended building a raised, three-foot-wide center median on Lawrence Road from Casablanca Street to 80 feet south of Jasmine Way. The new median, according to Shakerin, "would serve to channelize traffic in both directions and minimize the potential for cars to cross over the center line onto the opposing lanes."

The two-pronged proposal received mixed reviews from the 10 citizens who spoke to the council Tuesday night, with six in favor and four against, according to Gillette.

"The southern end of the neighborhood did not want the traffic-calming devices installed, and naturally the neighborhood most affected believed they needed some type of mitigation," Storer said.

In the end, the council was steadfast in its endorsement, voting unanimously to approve the project as presented.


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Posted by Tim
a resident of Danville
on Jul 18, 2014 at 6:41 am

It is amazing to me that some people would actually be against a stop sign in a residential area where children live. I read the article in the CC Times and clearly people speed on this road A stop sign can only help. It has been proven time and time again. But this is Danville and people are more concerned about their "freedom" to speed down any road they can than the safety of a neighborhood.

A similar problem occurred about 8 years ago in Diablo West after 2 roll over crashes occurred in a 4 month span on a curve near Casita Ct. People were always speeding around Contada Circle. The residents tried to get speed bumps put in to slow traffic but the vocal minority screamed loud enough and the town council gave in and voted it down. Diablo West eventually got roads dots put in around the curves but even that caused a lot commotion with one resident standing in the street preventing the work crew from putting the dots in front of his house (Contada and Thornhill). The big complaints were 1. that road dots and speed bumps will lower property values (seriously? try telling that to the people of Diablo) and 2. that slow down using the dots will increase pollution (the most ridiculous reason ever)

I am glad the town council got it right this time and didn't defer to the vocal minority. I guess they have finally gotten tired of the tea part types putting up a huge fight over any thing they think infringes on their "freedoms" (definition any thing the majority of population supports or doesn't think is a big deal but the Tea party types can create a conspiracy out of or generate publicity and get themselves on the news i.e. affordable housing in Danville)

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Posted by resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 18, 2014 at 7:58 am

I am against the stop sign and I don't even live anywhere near there. Most residents in the tri-valley are constantly complaining about traffic and how long it takes to get somewhere. Now, they are purposely slowing down and inconveniencing many people for something that MAY happen sometime in the future. That is insane to think that way. Why don't they just ban cars altogether, because you know, someone MAY get in an accident some time in the future. We have too many stop signs and red lights already and it may be easier to just teach people how to cross streets by looking both ways. SPEED TRAFFIC UP, Don't continue to make us all stop and go and stop and go and stop and go.

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Posted by Tim
a resident of Danville
on Jul 18, 2014 at 8:06 am

Thank goodness "resident" chimed in to immediately validate my point. Or is it satire? You never know in this town

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Posted by Peter
a resident of Danville
on Jul 18, 2014 at 8:56 am

As a driver, walker and bicyclist, I fully support this plan. For those narcissistic few who complain that this will slow down their commute by a few seconds, get over yourself! If preventing an accident and perhaps saving a life isn't worth a few seconds of your precious time, you have your priorities messed up.

On a larger scale, speeding in Danville (and other places) is a major problem. Probably one of the worst spots is Blackhawk Road between Camino Tassajara and Blackhawk Drive. Stand out there for five minutes and you will see several cars going in excess of 60mph, some over 80mph. Slow down, people. If you need tone someplace, leave earlier. Save a life.

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Posted by lawrence neighbor
a resident of Danville
on Jul 18, 2014 at 9:33 am

The residents of Lawrence road don't hate stop signs, it just didn't seem necessary to install a stop sign 100 feet away from another stop sign. Also, the residents complaining don't live on Lawrence or drive down the street where the sign will be installed. The kids play in a court that faces Lawrence, not on Lawrence. The other problem is the installation of the median. The street at the curve is already difficult to navigate and with a 3 foot median down the middle it will be even more difficult. It isn't just cars that travel down Lawrence. There are always large semi trucks delivering back hoes, tractors, cars with horse trailers, etc. I feel sorry for the houses that face Lawrence by the proposed stop sign. They are going to have cars stopped in front of their houses and they won't be able to use their driveways. The city council even recommended having those neighbors place their trash cans on trash day around the corner on Jasmine so the trash cans don't block the lane of traffic on Lawrence. There are times during school hours when the cars are 6 or more deep at the Casablanca stop sign. Now the traffic will back up at both signs. The accidents that have occurred on Lawrence all occurred with drivers under the influence, reckless driving. A stop sign is not going to stop these accidents. The median should help. I also don't think a stop sign 100 feet from another stop sign and stop light is going to stop the speeding down the 1.6 mile street. Lets face it, the design of the roadway when the new development was built was a mistake. The city didn't engineer the road correctly, let the developer cram as many houses as they could onto each plot of land, and now they have to figure out a way to correct their mistakes. Couldn't the $62000 be spent on something more useful?

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Posted by Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 18, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Tim, I am 100% serious.

And to those that worry about their kids playing in the street, why are you willing to inconvenience 100's of people, so your little Jonny can play without paying attention. And as a walker, biker and driver, learn to do all those properly, pay attention and it all works out fine.

Finally, its funny that all the Prius driving people worried about gas mileage don't say a word about all the stop and go and stop and go and stop and go's in our cities. You'll buy funny little cars but wont get rid of stop signs.

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Posted by Patty
a resident of Danville
on Jul 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Sounds like they need to take down the current stop sign and put this one up! Where Danville FOREVER needed a signal light installed is at Diablo/Blackhawk Rd and Mt Diablo Scenic Rd. That road when school is in is Always backed up.

Like this comment
Posted by JT
a resident of Danville
on Jul 23, 2014 at 1:33 pm

No worries, @residents' comments are but those typically made by ignorantanuses. Seriously, I have been on the receiving end of SUV owners disparaging Prius owners, calling them ecofreaks, and questioning why anyone would want to drive one of those "funny little cars." So I guess caring about the environment or being conscious of ongoing gasoline expenses is something to disparage. Maybe a lesson would be if people dumped their used oil on @residents lawn to feel first hand the effects of pollution and the expense to clean it up. Or preferred, maybe @resident can intellectually extrapolate the connection between pollution in ones house and in "our planet."

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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