Pedestrians wave red flags to cross Danville Boulevard | April 25, 2008 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - April 25, 2008

Pedestrians wave red flags to cross Danville Boulevard

Alamo shop owner takes safety measure into his own hands

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Red flags mean "stop" for drivers on Danville Boulevard in Alamo.

The flags are being used by pedestrians as they cross the major thoroughfare in the crosswalks at two risky spots - Jackson Way and Orchard Court. They were placed in buckets on either side of the road by Jim Peterson, owner of Alamo Flower Co. He said he got the idea after seeing Jackson Way resident Andy Hass, who is in his 80s and legally blind, as he ventured onto the crosswalk.

"I used to watch him cross the street and raise his cane," said Peterson. "I thought it ought to have a red flag on the end of it."

So Peterson bought the all-weather red material, had a local seamstress stitch it into flags, and attached them to PVC pipes.

"The first ones I put out were on wooden dowel sticks," Peterson said. "But kids had fun breaking and stealing them."

He switched to PVC pipes; these were also broken until Peterson came up with the current length, which is not so easy to break.

Peterson can keep an eye on the crosswalks - and the flags - from the flower shop.

"I see them used every day, all the time," he said. "I keep an eye on them to make sure there are some on both sides of the street."

Residents have complained for years that drivers speed through Alamo and do not see people trying to cross Danville Boulevard. In November, Orchard Court resident Tonya York was struck by a truck and thrown 38 feet in the air; she suffered a broken back and a concussion and is now campaigning to make the street safer for pedestrians.

The county is responsible for the streets in Alamo, which is unincorporated. District 3 Supervisor Mary N. Piepho and her predecessors have held meetings for years to hear complaints and suggestions to make the downtown safer. Pedestrian-activated flashing lights were put in at the Jackson Way crosswalk during the past year as part of a project that also created two left-turn lanes onto Stone Valley Road from Danville Boulevard going south. More recently, the speed limit was lowered from 30 mph to 25.

Peterson credits Piepho with finally getting these improvements in place, and he said a stoplight is needed at Orchard Court to make it safer.

"I've been to so many meetings on that, I'm tired of it," Peterson said.

Originally he only placed flags at Jackson Way, then he moved them to Orchard Court when the flashing lights were installed.

"I didn't think they needed them but people who'd been using them came in and gave me hell," Peterson said. "They wanted to use them."

So he provided flags for both crosswalks and maintains them.

"I think it's a very clever, thoughtful effort," said Piepho. "Jim's doing his part to protect his community. His participation is extremely helpful to Alamo."

"Lowering the speed limit will hopefully help, too," she added. "I've heard it's set a different tone."

Jim's wife Connie Peterson said the California Highway Patrol has been more of a presence lately.

"The traffic slows down just to see their cars out there," she said. "People that drive through Alamo are slowly getting educated."

Director of County Public Works Maurice Shiu said in February that his department acts quickly when it considers an area hazardous, by putting in signs or speed bumps. But he said the county does not consider Danville Boulevard to be dangerous.

"It's important but it's not an emergency," he said.

The Alamo Improvement Association wants a roundabout put in at Orchard Court to slow down traffic but many others say a traffic light is the solution.

In the meantime, Peterson urges pedestrians to avail themselves of the red flags.


Like this comment
Posted by Catrhy Daniels
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 25, 2008 at 8:08 am

Dear Editor,

Once again, you have ignored the only real remedy for Danville Blvd in our business district. The current four lane road should be removed and individual access lanes should be placed within the Alamo business district. Alamo is a destination and not commute corridor.

I'm dissappointed,

Cathy Daniels

Posted by Iron Horse neighbors

Like this comment
Posted by Oxymo Ron
a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Oh PUNish me, neighbors,

I cross Danville Blvd in Alamo waving a white flag and carrying bandages to stop the bleeding.


One Hal of a Pal

Like this comment
Posted by Judy Gilchrist
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2008 at 8:54 am

Post with applause for the author

Dear neighbors,

Sometimes ideas most humorous have such a realistic purpose. Take "Alamo at the Crossroads Corp" proposed by Dandy Smith in today's e-chains. Like school crossing guards of old with big stop signs on long poles, Dandy sees Alamo Iron Horse neighbors forming a corp to be such crossing guards in our Alamo Business District.

Volunteers would contribute an hour per week to be part of the corp that allows pedestrians to cross during the invasion of unwanted commuters mornings and evening. We can leave out the corp's snipers that pick off commuters that don't stop and the medics that care for the casualties, but we can focus on the actual idea.

I suggest, like school districts, we provide senior citizens jobs as crossing guards and pay them from funding raised in the community. Does anyone else consider this a very good idea?

Comments please,


Posted by the Dang Stang neighbors, Diablo Vista Region e-exchanges

Like this comment
Posted by Kathy Bell
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2008 at 8:36 am

Posted in conclusion for the author

Dear neighbors,

Red flags are the affect of poorly planned traffic infrastructure in Alamo's business district. County Public Works, Supervisors and the AIA refuse to understand that Alamo is a destination and not a commute corridor. A planned AIA meeting, May 15,, that will feature Public Works presentation of plans for Danville Blvd and other primary access roads will likely continue the failure of increased lanes and increased invitation to corridor usage by foreign traffic.

In every way, the majority of neighbors in our region have offered the only rational plan for the Alamo business district. REMOVE Danville Blvd and create a well-planned MALL with appropriate access lanes throughout the renovated business district.

Our business district is declining into numbers of vacant shops and little or no anchors to invite shoppers. The difficulty of access to our business district during commute hours is reducing shopping in the district. It is now time that our business district become a DESTINATION that is renovated in a MALL of multiple anchor stores and planned access for our residents and regional shoppers.

Stop the failure,

Kathy Bell
Iron Horse neighbors
Diablo Vista region

Posted from Diablo Vista region e-exchanges

Like this comment
Posted by Deanne in Alamo
a resident of Alamo
on May 4, 2008 at 8:21 am

Posted with permission of the author

Dear neighbors,

Supervisor Piepho and self-designated Alamo community leaders are meeting privately to negotiate four lane parkway conversion for Danville Blvd and Stone Valley Road or other options that would continue those roads as commute corridors for foreign traffic. Once again, a handful of individuals from AIA and Alamo Community Council are attempting to make their authority legitimate and impose their personal interests on a majority of residents and their neighborhoods.

This needs to stop! Do we have to face a future where we will need red flags to cross all roads and lanes in Alamo?

Deanna, In Alamo

Posted form Iron Horse neighbors e-exchanges

Like this comment
Posted by Karen Sexton
a resident of another community
on May 5, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Posted by request of the author

Dear neighbors,

Supervisor Piepho wants to continue her close-door policy to validate already-decided projects for our region. She is conducting an invitation-only meeting this coming Monday, May 12, to intimidate Alamo's self-proclaimed leadership in concession to her dictatorial will concerning a four lane parkway for the length of Danville Blvd and Stone Valley Road.

Let's SUE! Or at least challenge her methods as a government crime against the people.


Posted to Iron Horse neighbors e-exchange

Like this comment
Posted by CDSI community courtesy
a resident of another community
on May 6, 2008 at 7:16 am

Dear neighbors,

Any concern you may have for actions of a government official should be directed to that official as your representative. District 3 supervisor is your representative and speaks for your will and interests. A supervisor is not a community leader or any other form of leadership that should be considered separate from your will and interests.

Therefore, simply seek definition of plans for Danville Blvd and Stone Valley Road from Transportation Chair at the Alamo Imporvement Association,, and then send your specific directions to the supervisor's Alamo liaison, Ms. Gina Ferretti,

In good humor, waving anger as if it were a red flag will not resolve current and future planning failures in our business district.

A community courtesy as requested by the Iron Horse neighbors,

Hal Bailey
CDSI Research Fellowship

Like this comment
Posted by Krak Potts
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2008 at 9:21 am

Posted with a smile for the author

Krak Potts here, neighbors,

The use of RED Flags is important to safety when Public Works is proposing more traffic and higher rates of flow for the Alamo business district.

It seems that the issue is a choice of FLAGS. Public Works has chosen a CHECKERED flag to make all commuters winners of our region's roads. The Board of Supervisors have chosen GREEN flags to give foreign traffic right of way on our region's roads.

Our region's residents are given WHITE flags by our governments so we can surrender our rights to designate usage of our roads.

What color is your flag?

Vince, as Krak Potts

Posted from All things Alamo & Pop(u)lar e-chains.