Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

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By Mary Anderson

Tragically, [earlier this month], I experienced what I hoped and prayed would never happen. My deepest fear came true. A young woman was struck and killed as she was attempting to cross Las Positas around 6:30 p.m. She was struck by a truck throwing her body over two hundred feet. With the aid of an EMT, we began chest compressions until the authorities arrived. I believe she did not suffer and was killed on impact. I knew it was most likely a futile attempt, but we did what we could. This tragic accident need not have occurred.

  1. There are no crosswalks on Las Positas Rd, other than at Adams School.  A flashing crosswalk at Stanley and Las Positas has been needed for a very longtime.

  2. Speeding on Las Positas is a common occurrence.  

  3. Visibility of oncoming traffic is extremely difficult at Las Positas and Stanley. When making a left turn from Stanley onto Las Positas, you take a great risk as you can’t see over the hill as traffic approaches, especially if traffic is speeding.

I suggest three solutions for this inherent danger .

  1. Place a stop light at Stanley and Las Positas .

  2. Place a flashing crosswalk at Las Positas and Stanley.

  3. Place a sidewalk from Stanley to State Street .

Any of these or a combination would drastically reduce the probability of loss of life which occurred.  I ask that you act quickly to reduce this danger to the citizens of Santa Barbara.

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a-1638215920 Nov 29, 2021 11:58 AM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

I absolutely agree with you that the City needs to address this horrible traffic condition. The City claims to want people to be able to live near retail areas, yet they create these impossible conditions for pedestrian use. How do they expect neighbors in Samarkand to walk across Los Positas to access Loreto Plaza? The only flat walking area with a traffic signal and crosswalk is along State street at MacKensie Park. People who live towards Adams school have to cross at Adams to safely cross Los Positas to get to the shopping center. People who live farther north along Los Positas (closer to Stanley) have no place to cross (or walk) as there is no sidewalk along the eastern side of Los Positas on which to walk. The sidewalk is only on the Golf Course side (western side) of Los Positas. The reduction of traffic lanes has helped traffic along Los Positas, but not pedestrian access. Ranting online won't help. You should take it up with the new City Council and Mayor's office (Rouse) as well as City Transportation Staff (Derrick Bailey). It is tragic that people have to die in order to see the obvious need for this.

sbdude Nov 29, 2021 02:17 PM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

A stoplight at Stanley and sidewalks from Stanley to State on the east side of Las Positas and from McCaw to State on the west side would solve so many safety problems.

ginger1 Nov 29, 2021 02:47 PM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

I've forwarded your op-ed to SBBike-COAST and to Eric Friedman. He's the city council person for that district. You might want to contact him directly. Besides the issues you mentioned, the so-called "bike lane" also mysteriously ends right before there and bike riders are forced to ride into and with traffic going towards MacKenzie Park. So, sidewalk, flashing crosswalk, and bike lane are required immediate fixes. The city *may have* survey data on usage from when they re-aligned the southbound traffic and turn lanes recently. Hopefully that might speed up the process to fix this before someone else is killed.

DreamNow Nov 29, 2021 03:38 PM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

A couple years ago I was heading to the101 fwy from above State. I happened to look to my left as I was next to the golf course and there was a man on the opposite side of the road lying there. I flipped around and jumped out to find this poor guy had fallen there at that section where there is a giant hill and trees before McKenzie Park. He was walking to State Street from Samarkand where he lived and because there is no sidewalk he tripped on a branch and broke his hip. The worst part was that he laid there for over 20 minutes before anyone stopped. Doug if you're reading this, I think of that day often and wish you well.

ZeroHawk Nov 29, 2021 03:58 PM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

Hi Mary, i have questions. She was a good friend of mine since the mid 1980s...she grew up in that house on Stanley. I've stayed there. I know the area. What i am having a hard time with is that why is it taking a death and more accidents before Eric gets off of his seat and does something to help? Seems he's not there to fix things in the neighborhoods for his constituents.
Otherwise this would have been taken care of a long time ago, and Shelby would still be with us.
You said she landed about 200feet from the impact spot. I hope to whateverisupthere that she didn't feel it or suffer. You said you performed chest compressions with an EMT before authorities arrived. How did an EMT arrive before city PD?
Rowse won't do squat about this, neither will Freidman. He has been the council rep for this district for many years. what's he done to help the area? Anyone?

ConservativeSB Nov 29, 2021 04:38 PM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

I can assure you EMTs arrive on scene before PD vast majority of the time. Many PD reports are taken after a patient has been at the hospital for a while. I don’t have much hope for our local government to do squat that is positive. It will take public pressure campaigns to get this work done. That’s what it took to get the Flora Vista Drive light installed after Chipper was killed.

ConservativeSB Nov 29, 2021 04:34 PM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

I heard earlier reports that the driver didn’t have headlights on at the time? That drastically changes this story if it’s true so I would appreciate a fact check on that aspect. I live nearby and that area is pretty dark at night. How do the people living right there feel about street lights being installed?

OGSB Nov 29, 2021 04:45 PM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

A sidewalk makes 100% sense! There are crosswalks at every place you would need to access. Wierd there isn't already one in place on the residential side of the street.

ginger1 Nov 29, 2021 06:02 PM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

Mary: contact city public works: (805) 564-5377

Anyone interested in making a more immediate impact: attend public comment period at city council meeting. Meetings are 2pm Tuesdays, except not tomorrow ;-(

hz Nov 29, 2021 06:13 PM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

if its any consolation..she probably experienced instant oblivion. I was hit once..knocked off my bike and I did not die...I came to in the the moment of impact was instant nothingness. I felt no pain or anything at that moment, that all came for years after.

fitz Nov 29, 2021 07:29 PM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

The whole area along Las Positas needs safety improvements. Adams School needs a crossing bridge. Cars speed along there like crazy. Drivers do not stop at any of the intersections in the Samarkand area. They roll through the stop signs or don't stop at all. School kids are really in danger as they walk the few blocks to school. Safe Routes to School funds could be used in this area. Speed limit should be lowered to 25 the whole length of Las Positas between the 101 and State St. Better lighting by Stanley might help. I think a cross walk there might create a false sense of security because drivers are reckless and so many don't honor any speed limits or crosswalks.

fitz Nov 30, 2021 07:07 AM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

Get Off: Hmm. after sunset, I am not going to allow my family members to walk behind lawn bowling and down into the dark parking lot of MacKenzie Park to get to the crosswalk at State, which you are suggesting is the way to go. I don't consider my concern for people's safety stupid.

twobits Nov 30, 2021 08:07 AM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

Thank you for taking on this effort. A flashing light crosswalk at Stanley is an excellent idea. Please keep edhat updated if there are any meetings or petitions to sign to make this happen.

ESL_teacher Nov 30, 2021 09:43 AM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

I agree 100% that a lot could and should be done to make Las Positas safer for pedestrians. When driving I only ever make a turn at the single traffic light at San Onofre.

PitMix Nov 30, 2021 11:19 AM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

I contacted the City about a crosswalk in our neighborhood and their contact person told me, that in their opinion, a crosswalk gives a pedestrian a false sense of security and they will enter it even if a car is speeding towards them because technically they have the right of way. So you had to have a traffic light or stop sign, or nothing.

kane kena Nov 30, 2021 12:45 PM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

Meanwhile, south of the slot...
How about a left-turn lane for our friends onto Las Positas Place from northbound Las Positas? With all the other work going on with the multi-use path and left turn lanes being put in, it seems this one may have been overlooked?

a-1638355908 Dec 01, 2021 02:51 AM
Increased Pedestrian Safety Needed on Las Positas

Originally posted in another thread, I'm just a reader who is pasting this here:

"MFASBA NOV 30, 2021 03:30 PM
Thanks to all of you that commented on my concern for Las Positas Rd. While the county made improvements for traffic with the turn lane , nothing was done for pedestrians. I have contacted both Mr Rowse and the city . They are looking into a crosswalk , but of course it will take many squeaky wheels to have change at this location . I suggest you contact the city and make your voices known . I live on this street and I have seen many traffic accidents there . I will continue my efforts until something is done .There is a large population in Samarkand that would like to access the other side of Las Positas and we deserve to do it safely . Your friend felt nothing, I am sure . The EMT was off duty but identified himself as such . She did not suffer nor did her body show bloody injuries. The young man who hit her was in shock . I believe he had lights on . This is such a tough spot and she had crossed there many times , she knew what she was risking . This is mini freeway with no safety for the public.
Thanks ,
Mary Anderson

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