Cone system not safe

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I am writing to urge Cal Trans (or the City, or both) to re-examine the orange cone labyrinth that presently occupies space at the intersection of Walnut Lane and Grant Avenue. In my view it is not safe, or at least not as safe as it could or should be.

Here’s why:

First, the cone system lanes are very narrow, leaving little room for error for cars approaching one other or entering the cone system. There is absolutely no room for error. Perhaps the lane width meets the letter of the law, but it feels especially narrow when one drives through. A foot or two wider on both sides would feel and be safer.

Second, though both entrances to the cone system on Grant Avenue have flashing signs advising drivers to slow down, there has, in fact, been no change in the posted speed limit on Grant Avenue from what it was before the cones were installed. It remains 40 mph. The posted — and enforced — speed limit through the cones should be 25 mph. This is a no-brainer.

Finally, the left turn lane from eastbound Grant Avenue onto northbound Walnut Lane is unmarked — not a asphalt painted arrow in sight. This is especially dangerous at night when the cones tend to blend together. It’s doubly problematic for our visitors who are not likely to be familiar with the cone set-up. How much does a painted arrow cost?

Making the above situation even more difficult is that fact that there is an unmarked open space before the open space for the left turn that is set up for those turning from Walnut Lane onto westbound Grant Avenue. Again, a painted arrow indicating cars may be entering from Walnut Lane would go a long way towards directing drivers where to — and not to — turn left onto Walnut Lane. And, it would let those on westbound Grant Avenue know that some drivers will be making a right turn from Walnut Lane on to Grant.

I’ve proposed some simple, low-cost fixes that will make our citizenry and visitors much safer and save everyone the grief and financial burden of a preventable accident. Unconvinced? Take a drive through the cones during the day and again at night.

BOB POLKINGHORN 

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