Town Square

The Last Bus.....for me

Original post made by Simply Sterling, San Ramon, on Mar 9, 2013

When my husband and I rented a house in San Ramon last year, we were informed by our landlord that busses comes through the neighborhood and specifically down our street. We were desperate to find a rental since our present home was under contract and our tenant would be moving in soon. Good rentals were tough to find in San Ramon and there were several people lining up for the one we liked best. So we ignored the fact that the Contra Costa County Transit authority ran busses Monday through Friday down our street and signed on for the rental glad to have a place to hang our hats.

It wasn’t long after we moved in that I heard the busses rumbling down our street twice an hour from 7 in the morning until 7 at night. For some reason they didn’t run on Saturday and Sunday. I haven’t figured out why but was glad for it all the same. The busses moved quickly through the neighborhood and almost always seemed empty. They never stopped at the three bus stops because no one was ever waiting for them. Nor did I ever see anyone get off. The busses seemed like they had no purpose.

Why in an age restricted development (55 plus) were full-size busses traveling directly past the residential homes of the elderly. It was noisy and definitely dangerous. The busses pass the driveways of seniors who don’t hear and see very well, whose reflexes don’t respond quickly and who could easily back into the path of a moving bus. Additionally, the busses were often speeding and couldn’t possibly stop in time for a senior crossing the street as they walked their dog.

It certainly didn’t seem cost-effective for a bus company to send vehicles to an area that clearly didn’t use them. Seniors prefer to drive their own vehicles and not be dependent on public transportation. Since we don’t retest people as they age, seniors will drive until their competence is clearly gone and their license is taken away.

As for the speeding, where are the police when you need them? Do they believe a senior neighborhood doesn’t warrant monitoring? I have never see the police patrolling here. If they did, they would see these busses going too fast for the residential streets they are on. The drivers make a nice speedy loop and are gone.

I can’t fight the bus battle. I tried. I wrote five letters after I moved in: one to the Mayor of San Ramon, the City Council of San Ramon, Contra Costa Transit Authority, the San Ramon police chief, and the San Ramon Valley Times. I heard from no one. I went to a San Ramon citizens’ meeting and talked to the mayor and the head of Contra Costa County Transit Authority and nothing happened despite both of them saying they’d look into it. Right! So we are moving.

We will live on a quiet cul-de-sac in Danville and I won’t need to complain about busses rushing down my street. I will enjoy the peace and quiet. But I don’t want to forget this important issue. I wish that someone out there would look after the senior citizens in Sunny Glen. This is my last try at waking up the right people to deal with the bus problem. And yes, it is a problem. Sometimes people don’t know they have a problem until a tragic accident happens.

After I wrote this article but hadn’t published it, I was talking to an acquaintance whose father lives on Tangerine. He told me it was around 8 at night and already dark as he was backing out of his Dad’s driveway. He owns a panel truck which has more restricted vision than a car. At the last moment he noticed a bus as he was about to back out just seconds from a collision in the making. He was able to react fast enough to stop. He shudders to think what might have happened if he hadn’t. Will the next person be as lucky?