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It’s time for safer streets

Julie Guilfoy
Monday October 07, 2002

To the Editor: 


The streets of Berkeley are becoming less safe everyday for pedestrians. We have the highest pedestrian and bicycle injury rate for any other city our size in the state. Last spring an elderly women was killed in my central Berkeley neighborhood as she left church in the morning. A driver, probably frustrated with the gridlock on University Avenue tried to take a side street with a devastating result. As I walk, drive and ride my bike I encounter frustrated angry drivers and frightened pedestrians on a daily basis. 

I see very little effort by the city to make improvements. The little orange flags offered pedestrians trying to cross Ashby Avenue and University were completely ineffective. If it is our vision to close off all neighborhoods to crosstown traffic and funnel all the cars to a few main arteries then there also have to be incentives to take other modes of transportation and greater options for commuters. There also needs to be neighborhood shopping districts which are pedestrian friendly rather than car oriented. 

While at the Solano Stroll a few weeks ago I was wonderfully surprised to see the sidewalks bulbonts. They made walking really easy. Maybe more of these could be constructed in other small shopping districts as well to make the streets safer.  


Julie Guilfoy