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Please reconsider Stop sign at Prospect and Hartz..almost got ran over

Original post made by Danville Uncle, Greenbrook Elementary School, on Apr 2, 2010

Yesterday i was crossing Hartz Ave from E. Prospect with my 5 yr old niece and 3 year old nephew.

As we waited for traffic to stop for the flashing lights, my niece noted that no one was stopping for us. "Uncle..why aren't people letting go?"

once traffic on the northbound stopped and and southbound was all clear we crossed.

As we got about almost 1/2way a silver Honda Accord pulled out of it's parking stop and accelerated towards us at full clip.

I have never been so close to getting hit by a car.

And that fact that i was thankfully holding the hands of my niece and nephew saved their lives.


Or a motorbike cop to catch people blazing through that intersection..something.

After crossing we go into our car and head east on prospect, and tried to turn left to Hartz.

We waited and waited...and waited. It's impossible to turn left unless a pedestrian stops traffic with the flashing lights.

This is a problem area and a huge surprise there isnt more accidents here. Isnt this a shopping district meant for people to walk about?

Comments (26)

Posted by Becky
a resident of Danville
on Apr 2, 2010 at 11:13 am

I agree. It is a crazy intersection. I walk in Danville daily and that is a very bad intersection. I think the flashing lights might actually be worse then not having them as they provide a sense of security which is obviously not valid. Stop sign or traffic light would be good....

Posted by concerned pedestrian
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 5, 2010 at 7:38 am

SOMETHING needs to be done at that intersection. But I wonder if a stop sign would make traffic after the high school gets out every afternoon at 3pm even more backed up than it already is? Maybe a slower drive home is a small price to pay for safety. So sorry that happened to you....very scary.

Posted by Jim
a resident of Danville
on Apr 5, 2010 at 7:44 am

I also agree there is a need for a 4-way Stop sign here. I rarely drive Hartz or Prospect but did last week. Driving East on Prospect, after stopping, I attempted to turn left & head North on Hartz. I was very surprised to see the swiftness of the traffic flow on such a tight street.

A 4-way Stop Sign on all corners will help drivers making turns safely and pedestrians attempting to cross.

I had read about this intersection recently and now I understand the difficulty for all.

Posted by Toni
a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:06 am

I confer! Unfortunately and often, action isn't taken to prevent accidents until a fatal accident occurs---THEN a solution is implemented. We all know how difficult it is to "read" the "other drivers" and the "other pedestrians"---to avoid the guesswork it would be wise and in the best interest of everyone to install a stop sign.
It's about safety, prevention and saving lives of pedestrians, pets, bicyclists and vehicular accidents.

Posted by Danville Resident
a resident of Danville
on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:30 am

I agree, and with the Vet's Hall work about to begin, it is a perfect time to implement a change.

Posted by Alamo Resident
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:57 am

Yes - a 4-way stop sign at that intersection is sorely needed. I, too was downtown on Saturday and could not make a left turn onto Hartz until a pedestrian gave me a "block", generating angry stares from the North/South traffic.

Posted by Kamran Rassouli
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Apr 5, 2010 at 10:02 am

I enjoy my coffee in that corner during the weekends, and have experienced lots of near death experiences, both for animals and people. What amazes me is why don't they change that cross section to a four way stop cross section. Because of the pedestrians, cars driving in Harts almost have to always slow down or stop anyway, except some very unfamiliar and careless driver that zooms through causing the devastation and panic.
Just last weekend, a dog got hit, but luckily survived

Posted by Susan
a resident of Danville
on Apr 5, 2010 at 10:04 am

I live up Prospect and it's usually very difficult to cross Hartz, so a 4-way stop would be great at that intersection.

For pedestrian safety before additional stop signs could be put in (I assume it would take a while with all the bureaucracy), how about crossing flags that you could pick up on either side of the street to make pedestrians more visible. This was done in Berkeley and it really makes the pedestrians more visible. Another method used in Berkeley is to put bright stantions in the middle of street saying "stop for pedestrians." It makes it feel like a smaller street for motorists and makes them slow down.

Posted by JT
a resident of Danville
on Apr 5, 2010 at 10:25 am

Please NO STOP sign at Prospect and Hartz. The intersection is completely avoidable for drivers that are nervous to negotiate it. I cross it many times each week and can easily avoid the intesection if needed without going out of my way. It is an intersection that clears if the driver is patient enough to wait. Hence I believe the main issue for drivers, is they lack patience and don't like the uncertainty that a 2-way stop sign presents. I don't think it is a dangerous intersection and very very rarely do I see people going 30+ mph in that area. to not have to wait, guess what avoid the intersection altogether. I will sometimes go other routes but not often, as an example when I know the traffic is very busy, like when high school gets out.

Plus if you are to put a stop sign there, all the cars would need to stop and then accelerate, pumping extra fumes out in the vicinity of a nice outdoor patio seating area at Starbuck's.

One last comment, crossing any street and having a false sense of security is not my problem. Only a fool steps on a street assuming drivers see them. The law says a pedestrian has the right of way. Self preservation and Darwin's law say never not pay attention. Many pedestrians have gotten hit at 4-way stops signs, while crossing on a green light and cross traffic has red, and railroad crossings where flashing lights and sounds as well as blaring train horns do no good to preserve the elusive safety you want to quixotically chase.

Posted by Westsider
a resident of Danville
on Apr 5, 2010 at 12:22 pm

City of Danville, you need to do this. I know it'll back up Hartz on the south side during rush hour but this is a real issue. Whether I'm crossing it with family, or trying to drive across Hartz, it's way more dangerous than it should be. It's inconsistent for a town like ours to ignore such a blatant opportunity for improvement. You listened to your residents before by formalizing the crosswalk at the library, now do the right thing and fix this area too.

Posted by TL Nelson
a resident of Danville
on Apr 5, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I agree completely. This is a busy intersection. Also, many cars speed on Hartz Avenue. They should be traveling at 25 mph ... or less if there are pedestrians around. A stop sign would at least put a damper on the speeders.

Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Apr 6, 2010 at 12:11 am

BETTER than a Stop Sign, would be to have a Signal that would ONLY trip when there is a car (or pedesterian) on Prospect.
This would keep the traffic on Hartz flowing (and not backing up), until there is a need to stop the flow, rather than having a Stop Sign that forces unnecessary stops (and resultant wear and tear, etc).
Yes, a signal would cost more....but a Stop Sign is the wrong solution.

This topic was discussed before and covered at length.

Posted by Tim C.
a resident of Charlotte Wood Middle School
on Apr 6, 2010 at 11:38 am

I drive by here twice a day. I get my coffee at the corner Starbucks.

I sit and watch so many close calls here. There was talk about "bulb-outs" before. Now signals? Talk about all a waste of money.

What about a temp stop sign? on those traffic A-frames, just to test it out?

i've seen about 2 people almost get hit, or stop mid cross after a driver didnt yield.

For a small town that has a great walking downtown, it sure isn't pedestrian friendly. Look at Los Gatos, or Downtown Santa cruz.

Posted by Leonard Vinci
a resident of Alamo
on Apr 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm

First of all folks...a flashing yellow light means, "SLOW DOWN AND PROCEED WITH CAUTION" IT DOES NOT MEAN STOP... The problem is that most folks just think they can push the button and walk out into the traffic. They better wake up and think twice. I truly believe the flashing yellow lights should be flashing RED lights. Flashing red lights mean to STOP and proceed when clear. The whole idea of having flashing yellow lights at a cross walk is stupid. Have you ever seen a school crossing monitor hold up a yellow sign and tell the children to cross the street. I think it's time for the brain dead traffic engineer that designed this system to make a change to red flashing. Mark my words, you will see car's and truck's STOP every time and NOT drive through. Thanks for listening...Leonard Vinci from Alamo

Posted by Duffy
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2010 at 9:25 am

The same bureaucratic mentality put flashing pavement lights, bulls-eye flashing yellow lights on posts and a host of signs on the Iron House trail street crossings.

The mixed and confused signals these devices send to both drivers and pedestrians is an accident waiting to happen.

YELLOW means caution to the driver and pedestrian alike it does not give either party a license to ignore courtesy, common sense and caution! INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY people!

We would probably be better off without them!

Posted by Mike
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2010 at 9:34 am

When people are pedestrian's they expect traffic to stop for them. But when those same people get behind the wheel, it's the opposite, "better get out of my way!!!"

Posted by Linda
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Apr 7, 2010 at 10:04 am

Danville has lost it's small town appeal. Too many cars, too many people, too many shops.

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Apr 7, 2010 at 11:39 am

jrm is a registered user.

I am downtown frequently (I live a few blocks away) and have observed this intersection for a long time over the years. In my opinion a stop sign will simply clog up traffic. Most of the time the traffic downtown is very mellow, certainly there are peak times but that is to be expected. I agree with the suggestion of orange flags similar to those used in Berkeley. Linda has such a negative perspective...too many shops, too many people? I respectfully disagree. We need shops downtown, indeed I have done all my Christmas shopping at these unique local merchants for years and will continue to do so. Downtown is great. My friends in Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and other environs love meeting me at Mangia Mi, Petes, the Peasant and the Pear and other spots. My daughter was just home from college for Spring Break and commented "I never really knew how special Danville was until I moved away, what a great place to grow up" It's not perfect but it is a place out of towners recognize is very unique.

Posted by A resident
a resident of Danville
on Apr 7, 2010 at 8:14 pm

It won't matter what they put there unless all these SUV driving housewives get off their damned cell phones.....
I was almost hit tonight by another typical Danville driver.

I wish their husbands knew how they're endangering his children and his vehicle that he works to pay for her to drive around in and blab on the phone

You know who you are!!!

Posted by Elizabeth Shemaria
a resident of Danville
on Apr 8, 2010 at 8:35 am

The town of Danville is working to make this intersection safer. Read this article to learn more: Web Link

Posted by becky
a resident of Danville
on Apr 8, 2010 at 8:46 am

A resident- what a sexist, nasty thing to say.. How do you know that the vehicle is indeed the property of a man and not a woman? Why do the children belong to the man? What century do you live in?

Women work, pay for things and are adults.

Posted by Pedal Power
a resident of Danville
on Jun 8, 2010 at 10:02 pm

The town should just spend the money and put in a real stop light defaulting to the main thoroughfare.

Bulb outs are dangerous for cyclists and cars. I hate the one on Railroad and have shifted my shopping elsewhere since it was put in.
I complained at the time but to no effect, and of course once the money has been spent, to put one in, no one will be in a rush to spend more money to take it out.

Look at the tire scuff marks and ask yourself how many pinch flats make it onto the freeway. It may seem OK on a summer's day but come wet winter evenings it is far from obvious despite the frequent repainting and profusion of visual aids that have been added in an effort to increase its conspicuity.

Put in a real stop light!


Posted by David Brower
a resident of Danville
on Jun 28, 2010 at 11:23 pm

The intersection could be radically reconsidered to thwarting the use of one or both roads for through traffic. Consider closing either section of Prospect to non-delivery traffic, or making the intersection have forced right turns (no lefts or straight through). This will make Hartz more pedestrian friendly, with Railroad as the thoroughfare, which is the idea anyway, isn't it?


Posted by Jerry Hubbard
a resident of Danville
on Jun 30, 2010 at 11:29 am

What get's me is that in these days of fiscal austerity the city still has the money to install those ramps for kids on skateboards at every intersection.

Posted by dbrower
a resident of Danville
on Jul 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Jerry, those ramps are for wheelchairs. Use by skateboarders andy bicycles is a "bonus" feature.


Posted by Jerry Hubbard
a resident of Danville
on Jul 1, 2010 at 8:33 pm

dB, thanks for the post, but you prove my point. Why are handicapped people using skateboards and bicycles anyway?

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