Town Square

Danville takes short term solution to problems at corner of Prospect and Hartz

Original post made on Aug 19, 2010

With street safety improvements set to be completed in Danville in conjunction with the Veterans Memorial renovation, the town is taking an interim step to improve visibility at the corner of Hartz and Prospect avenues by extending the no-parking area near Starbucks.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 19, 2010, 12:07 AM


Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Aug 19, 2010 at 8:30 am

City Planners and city "leaders" just don't get it!

A signal is the best way to go. It doesn't backup the Hartz traffic by demanding that every car stop. It only changes if there is a need for crossing by Prospect cars or pedestrians.
It protects pedestrians with certainty (unlike many other "ideas"). And it controls the pedestrians, as well: makes them have to stop and wait.
Less parking, is NOT good! More red curbs won't do it.
It is NOT a visibility issue. It is the refusal of the Hartz cars to "allow" the vehicle cross traffic to cross: either the belligerent, selfish exertion of their right-of-way or the tuned-out, discourteous blind-eye to the efforts of the cross traffic to cross.
Furthermore, bulb-outs have already proven to be a TERRIBLE IDEA. They make car parking more difficult and time-consuming (for all). They place the pedestrian more directly (and quickly) into the dangerous part of the street--which makes them MORE dangerous, not less dangerous. And gives the drivers LESS time to react to them and to stop.
City planners (for all their "education" and "income") are brain-washed and incompetent!

Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Aug 19, 2010 at 8:36 am

How much money is going to be spent on these mistaken temporary changes?
How much time will be spent studying and re-studying this issue?
How much would it cost for a signal done now?

Posted by Charles
a resident of Danville
on Aug 19, 2010 at 10:19 am

I cannot understand this town of Danville and the safety issues that exist ! Speed enforcement in the downtown area and by the high school is not enforced. The speed of traffic passing El Cerro on Danville Blvd. seems to be near freeway speeds!!! I hope a fatal accident does not occur!! Safety leadership does not exist in this "quality of life" town.

Posted by Collins
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 19, 2010 at 11:42 am

Less parking?? There are already BIG parking problems in downtown!!! I get coffee at Starbucks all the time. It is already a nightmare to park. I am disabled and the one handicap parking spot in the that lot is poorly marked, since the blue paint on the asphalt has faded a great deal. Besides, it is mostly occupied by cars with no placard or designated license plate. I have NEVER noticed any Danville Police checking the spot, either.

Posted by Peter
a resident of Danville
on Aug 19, 2010 at 3:32 pm

You think cars don't stop for stop signs -- check out the bikers any Saturday on Railroad -Prospect !!

Posted by Keeping it real
a resident of Danville
on Aug 19, 2010 at 9:14 pm

If the community (people who use this stretch of the roadway) would self govern themselves, the Town would not have to do any of it (speed enforcement, reconfiguring the crosswalk at Hartz/Prospect-listen to all the "experts" who know how to fix everything). It seems that everyone thinks that it's the "Town's" responsibilty, but if people would do as they were supposed to and take responsibility for their own GD actions, it wouldn't be an issue now would it? Grow up and do what the law dicates and this "issue" would correct itself! Enough hand holding already.. Obey the laws that are already on the books. We don't need more of them.

It amazes me that people in this community are successful enough to live here but can't figure out how to get through small issues as simple as this! But, I guess it's easier to blame the Town and rely on them to fix everything..

And in regard to parking, there is plenty of space to park. You may just have to walk a block or two. Get real!

Posted by MS ELLIOTT
a resident of Danville
on Aug 20, 2010 at 10:19 am

Yes... speed is the issue, along with people who just aren't courtious drivers; why does everyone have to be in such a hurry or talking on there phones???

Posted by Leslie
a resident of Blackhawk
on Aug 21, 2010 at 9:22 am

There could be alot of revenue generated if they would just ticket violators. Cell phones, handicap spaces, speeding, failure to stop, not giving right of way to pedestrians, bike violations. One ticket will make people THINK about how they are driving.

Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Aug 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

One solution might be to link a traffic camera to a crosswalk signal. When a person pushes the button to cross the street, and once the signal to cross Hartz gives that pedestrian the go-ahead, the camera gets activated. If a driver enters the intersection before the cross-signal ends, they get a nice fine in the mail for about $400. And the town would need to loudly post the presence of this camera too.

The one problem would be that these pedestrian signals often stay green for the crosswalk far longer than need be, or too brief for someone in a wheelchair. And of course, if other walkers enter the crosswalk too late, then they are still doing so at their own risk.

As usual too, I must completely disagree with Mr. Macintosh when he states that it is not "a visibility issue". It could not be more of a visibility issue. With so many Danviller's driving their enormous SUVs, and parking them near corners, who the heck can see walkers lurking behind them? The only thing making that corner slightly less blind to northbound drivers is the Vet hall construction that limits parking on the southeast corner.

I don't know about you PS, but I cannot see through solid objects like a Ford Expigdition, Hummer, Escalade, or other vehicular substitutions for under-endowment.

Posted by Eddie
a resident of Danville
on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:00 am

Thank you for not putting a traffic light there!! A light is a horrible idea. It would change the entire feel of the street in a bad way. That area has a charm to it that a light would just flat ruin. Please never put a light there!! Increased visibity is a great idea and all you give up is a few spots and a $20 bucket of red paint. Wonderful idea.

Posted by Randlly
a resident of Danville
on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:30 am

How about closing Propect, between Hartz and Front St.? This would eliminate the traffic crossing issue at Hartz and would provide a shopping and dining promenade area. I can see it now, fountains, brick streets and plenty of room for alfresco dining.

Posted by Arthur
a resident of Danville
on Aug 23, 2010 at 9:36 am

Judging by the host of comments in regard to the council's decision for a temporary solution to the Hartz-Prospect crossing issue, it seems that the council needs to place it on its next town meeting agenda so that the matter can be reviewed and so that Danville's concerned citizens can provide the council with their feedback on this latest decision (obviously not a popular one and with much justification).

If this temporary decision does not provide a safe solution, then it is, basically, no solution at all, especially if even one pedestrian is harmed in the meantime. Although this comment section is a great place for residents to voice their opinions on the council's decisions, it is nothing compared to the opportunity to voice their opinions to the council members in person. This temporary plan is definitely cause for a follow-up opportunity for Danville's concerned residents.

Posted by Julie
a resident of Danville
on Aug 23, 2010 at 10:49 am

I don't know why they have such a hang-up about putting a light there. It wouldn't change the look of anything. There's another light half a block away! And I am sick to death of driving all the way to Trader Joes to find a place to cross Hartz avenue. Don't they realize the amount of traffic that is created in the rest of Danville trying to circumvent that intersection?! All they do is count the cars at that intersection. Someone needs to count the cars that avoid that intersection because you can't get across the street!! Do the people that make these decisions ever even drive in Danville?

Posted by John Tanner
a resident of Danville
on Aug 23, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I live off Prospect and drive through that intersection ALMOST exclusively on the way out and on the way back.

It does not need a light!!!
Drivers have become such wimps, they have to have a light to feel safe. If you don't like the intersection AVOID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nope, can't do that because that would take extra effort on the drivers part and better to place the burden on the City.

There are a lot of good ideas out there. How about a 15mph speed limit? There is not a law about 15mph speed limits. It will make it easier to slow down / stop for Hartz bound traffic. And it will make it easier for Prospect traffic to nudge out. And it will make it safer for pedestrians. Plus it will give the town an excuse to ticket and raise money for the town. Everybody wins except the rat racing rushing morons that insist on speeding through town, which fortunately are not many.

Posted by dbrower
a resident of Danville
on Aug 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I repeat a suggestion I made in to a previous article. Get rid of through traffic on both road by making that intersection a forced right turn in all directions.


Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Aug 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm

What I have experienced is NOT a VISIBILITY or SPEED issue!

I'm primarially talking about the DRIVING access problem (trying to drive from Prospect and either turning left onto Hartz or going across Hartz). The pedestrian problem is similar, but different.

The drivers on Hartz can SEE the side cars, but the drivers tend to be "zoned out" and completely "ignore" the side traffic.
A side car can be way out across the crosswalk and halfway into Hartz, the Hartz drivers can see the car from far down Hartz, yet they still insist on driving up (not nec over the speed limit) and through the intersection. It's their right! They have the right-of-way. They know it. They are going to exert it. They are busy. They are going places and want to get there. So "side traffic" be damned!

The side traffic waits for an opening. That's what they are supposed to do. I'm OK with that. The problem happens when there a few openings and the windows of opportunity are tight. (That's why a Signal--set to only trip when there IS side traffic--is light-years better than a Stop Sign--which operates 24/7 and is entirely unnecessary during many of those hours.)

If someone from the side traffic inches out into the intersection (such as when the traffic from one direction has a large opening), then, at some point, that side car gains the right-of-way--they are IN the intersection first. At that point, the Hartz drivers should actually stop for it. Yet Hartz drivers don't recognize or understand that shift in right-of-way and don't stop.

The only thing that will clearly and truly "break" the Hartz drivers' "right-of-way" is either a signal or a stop sign. Longer red zones won't stop them. Bulb-out sidewalks won't stop them. Only a STOP will stop them. That is my whole point here!
Sure I wish drivers were better drivers--more attentive, more courteous, more caring, and less selfish. (Then there wouldn't need to be a signal.) But that's not going to happen.

Personally I don't have a problem with driving that intersection, but I can see that other people do. I'm a good driver and have a good record. I drive many miles per year. And I originally learned to drive in LA's rush hour traffic--so I'm used to lots of close traffic. I can handle small openings, but they aren't pleasant--and they lead to accidents and injuries for others.

IMO, that intersection needs a signal to make it safer for side traffic and pedestrians.
Red zones and bulb-outs do NOTHING significantly worthwhile to address this problem, at least nothing justifying their imposition and cost.

For the record, there are OTHER Danville intersections that have the same problem (maybe worse), such as along Danville Blvd between Sycamore and Railroad. And it's especially noticeable during the school "rush-hour" traffic--when primarially Danville moms are "on mission."

Posted by Pedal Power
a resident of Danville
on Aug 23, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Red paint sounds like a good idea for a quick fix that could be done tomorrow with a $20 can of paint. Then traffic lights, defaulting to the main road, in the fullness of time.

But I agree with psmacintosh that BULB-OUTS ARE A TERRIBLE IDEA.

Here is an extract from the Wikipedia page on the topic:
Web Link

"Poorly designed curb extensions can pose a hazard to cyclists, as they force cyclists from their position at the road side (or in a roadside bike lane) into the narrowed gap. They can also damage vehicles if the curbs extend too close to traffic lanes"

Sound familiar?

And now that the town knows they can pose a hazard to cyclists, guess which town and which mayor is going to get sued when one is converted from a cyclist into a wheelchair user.

Pay $5,000-$25,000 now, per pair, so the town can be put in a positions to be sued for $5-$50 million later. Hmmm.

Posted by elsie
a resident of Danville
on Aug 24, 2010 at 11:48 am

This short term "fix" could mean that someone's life, or the quality of his or her life, could become short term. Why take the risk?

The Town Council needs to understand that their primary responsibility is to prevent a needless accident where the risk is so obviously high for the residents of our wonderful community. Put in a traffic light and if those who object have an issue with that, then it is they who should drive out of their way to avoid it. I would compare their argument to those of smokers. Thank goodness smokers now longer impose a health hazard to non-smokers. There was uproar at first when smoking was banned in restaurants; now look at how the ban has spread and we have all become used to it.

Traffic lights cause people to slow down and installing a new one is never a popular decision. Our small downtown has too much traffic. Forcing the traffic to slow down will also force them to become more focused on what's important - the safety of others...pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists.