Newark danger spots

Southbound on Cherry at 7.30 a.m.
Southbound on Cherry at 7.30 a.m.
Friday: I drop off son at high school in the morning and drive back on Cherry. There is a person lying in the middle of the road with a police officer and ambulance, fire truck and more police arriving.

Monday: I drop off son at high school in the morning and drive back on Cherry. There are two cars stopped in the middle, one presumably rear ended, and the drivers talking on their phones, so at least no injuries to people.

Traffic is heavy in the morning on Cherry, and driving southbound, you are driving straight towards the sun. It helps if your car windows are clear, but you do need to keep very focused on the road.

I am very sad about the 14-year-old being hit by a car Friday. I hope she is recovering  and will be OK.  I am hoping that a child hit in a crosswalk on her way to school will bring up questions. Is there a need for traffic lights, better markings of the crosswalk, or other ways to assure that kids can get to school safely?

Another spot I would like to have our traffic managers pay attention to is where Rockrose Drive ends at Mowry. Kids coming from this neighborhood will cross here, without a traffic light or crosswalk, to get to high school. Coming out of the
mall area across from Rockrose, doing a left turn with a car, crossing four lanes of traffic, is also no picnic without a traffic light. 

Anybody else know of a danger spot, especially where it is relevant for kids as a way to and from school. Can the Patch help and make traffic safer in Newark?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Nadja Adolf December 13, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Christine Street in the morning, when parents are rushing to drop off their children at the Junior High before heading to work. Traffic coming from Mayhews Landing tends to accelerate at the curve, where an optical illusion makes the street look wider than it is. Cars accelerate in that stretch and commonly cross the center line.
Suzanne Flusche December 18, 2013 at 10:19 AM
My son was involved in two traumatic bicycle accidents while riding on Cedar, between Musack and Edgewater. In one, his arm was horrifically mangled, and not one driver stopped to help a 12 year old in that crisis. in the second incident, a car reducing speed from Musak onto Cedar slowed for it's turn, but not quickly enough to keep my child and his bike from rolling across her hood. Seeing no bloody injury done to his body, the diver left without providing any information which could have been useful when trying to pay for his new bicycle and arrangements for school transportation.. There be plenty 'o dangers the intrepid students of Newark have learned to traverse. It's tough. They do deserve advocacy and help.
April December 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Bettencourt at Shorehaven. The crosswalk- people drive too fast and do not stop for pedestrians. I have an airhorn now and when those maroons refuse to yield, I hit the horn and they pee pee. The NPD was at Lincoln School ticketing people for parking at the red curb(oh they are more important than everyone else) car seats, and for illegal left turns out of the parking lot. Thank you NPD but we need speed humps on Betten court near the school or maybe flashers on the crosswalk like they have in h Hayward and Berkeley. I know folks do not want to be late to work, why not get up 30 minutes earlier?
Birgitta Bower December 18, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Very sorry to hear about your son's accidents Suzanne. Hard to understand that no one would help him! And a hit-and-run! I trust he wasn't hurt permanently. When it comes to trauma and children I always think of 'Short Cuts' by Robert Altman where a boy is hit by a car, appears fine, gets home, becomes lethargic, and dies. You don't know about internal damages, and being hit by a car, even without blood, is not trivial. I don't know how the 14-year-old is doing, but really hope she will be fine. The drop-off/pick-up circus at schools has always seemed crazy and scary to me. Schools and infra structure were obviously not built for having hundreds of cars pass by. I wish school buses could make the rounds instead. With accidents people will be less inclined to let kids get to school by themselves, which will hamper their independence, take away an opportunity for exercise and put more cars and SUVs around schools. This is a major problem for city planners to solve.
Nadja Adolf December 20, 2013 at 02:58 PM
  JOHN BECKER To Me,AL NAGY Dec 13 Dear Ms. Adolf, Thank you for expressing your concerns regarding speeding on Christine Street. Mayor Nagy asked me to evaluate the situation and respond back directly to you. The City’s traffic engineering staff reviewed the street segment just north of Bellhaven Avenue to determine if a speeding problem exists based on the City’s adopted Traffic Calming Policy. Motor vehicle speed data was collected and general observations were made during the weeks of November 18th, December 2nd, and December 9th. Under the City’s Traffic Calming Policy, physical alterations of the roadway such as chicanes, center medians, or speed bumps can only be considered if a demonstrated speeding problem is determined to exist. The policy requires that the 85th percentile or “critical speed” in both directions of travel be 33 miles per hour (mph) or higher. The speed data obtained indicates that the critical speeds for Christine Street just north of Bellhaven Avenue are in the 28mph – 29mph range. These findings are consistent with prior traffic calming analyses of Christine Street requested in 2003 and again in 2009. Based on the data obtained, staff cannot recommend consideration of any physical alterations of the roadway. You also specifically expressed a concern about the existing widened roadway encouraging northbound motorists to speed faster. The roadway width is actually 40 feet wide (curb face to curb face) throughout. Christine Street is consistent with many other residential streets in Newark in that there are meandering curves in the roadway. Streets were designed in this manner to minimize long straightaways, in part to encourage vehicular speeds appropriate for a residential neighborhood. These curves, combined with side street openings can sometimes give the illusion of a wider roadway, but there is no change in the actual curb to curb width. Christine Street is equipped with a striped centerline which serves as a visual means of traffic calming and helps to encourage motorists to remain on the right side of the street. City staff noted that at the Bellhaven Avenue intersection, the original two-way reflective markers are obscured by pavement restriping. A work request to have additional reflective markers placed at this location has been made. Another important concern you had was related to school-age pedestrian safety. Staff did note that a high percentage of the total daily vehicular traffic on Christine Street correlates directly with the Newark Junior High bell schedule. In fact, more than half of the traffic for the entire day occurs during a 3-hour period (7am, 8am, and 2 pm hours). The Lafayette Avenue crosswalks adjacent to Newark Junior High School are obviously very busy with drop-off and pick-up activity. During the morning school commute, in the segment area between Bellhaven Avenue and Montcalm Avenue, there were 11 pedestrians observed travelling to the Junior High and 5 pedestrians (a combination of parents and elementary school children) observed travelling to Graham Elementary. This represents a fairly low pedestrian volume relative to the total activity on Lafayette Avenue, although such numbers can be skewed this time of year due to the colder weather. However, all pedestrians can cross Christine Street at the stop sign controlled intersections at either Lafayette Avenue or Mayhews Landing Road. There have been no reported accidents on Christine Street in the last 5 years. If you have any questions or remaining concerns, please feel free to contact Mr. Soren Fajeau, Senior Civil Engineer, at (510) 578-4286 or soren.fajeau@newark.org. Regards, John Becker City Manager
Nadja Adolf December 20, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Please note that I told the city that there is an optical illusion that makes the street appear wider than it is, not that the street has a wider portion. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do next in order to get the city to try and correct the situation? People not only accelerate at the curve as they head from Mayhews Landing towards the Junior High, but they also tend to go over the yellow line into the oncoming lane of traffic.
Mona Taplin December 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Being a former Crossing Guard, I am very familiar with motorists who ignore every traffic law going.I have stood out in the middle of a cross walk many times with my orange vest on and lights attached to my stop sign, totally ignored by drivers. I've watched a couple of idiots leave the Graham School parking lot come to the crosswalk on the wrong side of the street and drive on the crosswalk itself, even when I'm on the crosswalk with children. I can't help but notice that while being watched, the behavior of drivers improves dramatically and the flow of traffic is as smooth and perfect as can be. Notice I said when being watched. The rest of the time people only care about the safety of the child in their car. The pedestrian can either get the hell out of the way or get run over. I reported one school bus driver for unsafe practices, and the driver yelling at a boy who was in her way crossing the driveway when school let out. I also doubt very much if there has been much study done near Lincoln School during the time people are dropping off or picking up students before and after school. There are a lot of accidents waiting to happen in this city. Are there any other old timers who remember how much begging it took to get a traffic light on the corner of Thornton and Cherry streets to make it safer for pedestrians crossing to get to the old Muller school? This isn't a new problem.
Nadja Adolf December 31, 2013 at 07:27 AM
When I was in high school a friend of mine was killed bicycling home, the car driver apparently ran the stop sign coming down the hill. Alison Seifert was a lovely, intelligent, caring, young woman with her whole life ahead of her; I knew her from Drama Club. Traffic control around schools seems to be ignored because schoolchildren aren't big political donors.


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