High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

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By Neighbors in the Alan Road/Arroyo Burro Beach Area

Dear Mayor Murillo:

We are very concerned neighbors who live in the Alan Road/Arroyo Burro (Hendry’s) Beach locality of Santa Barbara.

We want to bring immediate attention to a high risk pedestrian crosswalk in our neighborhood, for which current measures for public safety are inadequate. The crosswalk of concern is located at the intersection of Cliff Drive and Alan Road. This crosswalk is high volume for both vehicles and pedestrians, as this part of Cliff Drive is the primary access to and from the Arroyo Burro Beach area and Hope Ranch community. The high pedestrian traffic volume is in large part because the adjacent section of Alan Road has become de facto overflow parking (particularly on weekends and during warmer weather) for the Arroyo Burro Beach area.

As residents of this area, we use the crosswalk frequently, and have all observed that the crossing is a treacherous one. Automobiles travel fast on Cliff Drive in this area, and too often do not heed the existing crosswalk or small marker indicating that state law requires vehicles to yield to pedestrians. In part, this may be exacerbated by the fact that many visitors to the beach area are from out of town, and are not familiar with the traffic patterns in this area. In addition, during certain parts of the day the ambient light at the crosswalk is poor, and given the orientation of Cliff Drive at the location, in both early morning and late afternoon the effects of sunlight can affect driver and pedestrian visibility significantly.

Recently, on September 16, a pedestrian was using the crosswalk, walking her dog. She was struck while in the crosswalk at a high rate of speed by a vehicle heading westbound on Cliff Drive. The victim was seriously injured, presenting in critical condition as a major trauma activation, subsequently requiring admission to the intensive care unit at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (her dog was killed).

We are not pointing fingers, but also feel strongly that this tragic incident could have been avoided if the city had taken more proactive measures to improve the safety of the crosswalk. As noted above, the existing signage is inadequate, and further measures such as a pedestrian light signal and/or speed reducing barriers would seem (in our layperson observations) to be appropriate remedies.

Among us who are submitting this letter are first responders, who know first hand the preventable devastation that occurs when pedestrians are struck by motor vehicles and are left with serious, often permanently disabling injuries or even death.

Santa Barbara’s City Council adopted the Vision Zero Strategy in 2018, bringing attention to the fact that saving lives is not expensive when appropriate measures are taken to protect the public safety and further “that it can never be acceptable that people are killed or seriously injured when moving on public roadways.” We applaud this. At the same time, Vision Zero has also acknowledged that our community has a high rate of motor vehicle collisions, including a disproportionate rate of serious or fatal pedestrian outcomes.

We ask again that you help us to take immediate action to provide a fix for this currently high risk crosswalk, and involve the neighborhood in the process. If swift action is not taken, we feel it is merely a matter of time before another person is seriously injured or worse.


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a-1601656540 Oct 02, 2020 09:35 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

How sad for those who reside on Alan Road to have their access to the beach become a busy access to the commercialized Hendry's. Hope Ranch traffic has been pretty steady for many years, but the area's population has grown, tourists have "discovered" our once neighborhood beach, as have those using the beach for unleased dogs. Good to have this letter encouraging the City to slow down the crazy traffic there into the parking lot and along Alan Road.

Emmenanthe Oct 02, 2020 09:49 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

Thank you for an excellent letter to bring attention to a significant safety issue. I support all the reasoning you describe. Increasing use of Arroyo Burro Park is indeed increasing the use of Alan Road as overflow parking (thank you, Sunset and all the other profit-making travel sites). People coming out of the roundabout and heading for the hill tend to accelerate aggressively over those first 50 feet. People coming down the hill often are speeding. They don't slow down, apparently assuming the park entrance/exit is the only area of concern, and relying on their view of it as they descend the hill. The crosswalk is just beyond their focused area of interest at the base of the hill. Too often those drivers also tend to accelerate past the Park entrance, speeding through the segment opposite Alan Road. (Too bad we can't ding those travel sites for a tiny portion of their profits to address the increased hazard they create with their advertising!)

a-1601657984 Oct 02, 2020 09:59 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

What an odd introduction to this story: "where a pedestrian's dog was killed earlier this month." I had to read to the end of the commentary to find out that the "pedestrian" was seriously injured and hospitalized as though that harm was only small potatoes. Let's get some priority here.

Sensibly Common Oct 02, 2020 11:24 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

I haven’t used that crosswalk as a pedestrian but what’s been said makes sense. I hate hearing about people getting hit. I wish the city would do something at Cabrillo and Channel, that should be a priority too.

SBSand Oct 02, 2020 05:41 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

I disagree, the big ones work well, and they have them on other roads in Hope Ranch so the residents are used to seeing them on some of those twisty hills already. Maybe it will help slow down the idiots that speed race down that stretch. There are people that literally race that stretch.

pstarSR Oct 02, 2020 02:41 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

everyone coming out of what area? ohhhhh yeah.... all those mercedes and land rovers cant stop for the poor people! That place is a death trap. My parents live on Alan and can barely leave their house because of the traffic parking on that road. People are jerks, its not the crosswalks fault. they should install the light and a police officer to ticket people. take money away from hope ranch and you might sting them hard enough to make them change..... ( doubt it )

3P14159 Oct 02, 2020 03:52 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

cameras that take a snapshot of the car's license should be installed. A ticket could automatically be sent to each person who is traveling over the speed limit. nail the offenders !

Ahchooo Oct 02, 2020 05:55 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

Catching drivers speeding through a crosswalk is hardly 1984-level surveillance. Of course, it has to be on the up-and-up.

a-1601691333 Oct 02, 2020 07:15 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

You'd have to photograph the person behind the wheel so remain right with the law. Just going by the license plate won't get to the driver but the car's registered owner who may or may not have been the one driving. You see? That's why vigilantism is a poor excuse for justice.

tagdes Oct 02, 2020 08:10 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

@7:15 sorry to tell you but....the license plate camera has been getting the culprit for years all over the US and works out quite well or they wouldn't still be using it. Vigilantism is a obviously a very good excuse and it works...no problems with hack attorneys.

Getoffmylawn Oct 02, 2020 07:06 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

How about residents on alan rd pay for a full time crossing guard. Or have part time crossing guards who donate their time for the betterment of alan road neighbors.

hz Oct 02, 2020 11:51 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

it is not just alan road residents...if you read the post, alan road is chock a block with people using that street for overflow parking!

a-1601700991 Oct 02, 2020 09:56 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

Derrick Bailey at the City of SB is responsible for the poor design of the intersection. Take enforcement up with Police Chief Lori Luhnow.

a-1601734860 Oct 03, 2020 07:21 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

A couple of years to get a crosswalk flashing? https://www.noozhawk.com/articles/residents_express_concern_cliff_dr_alan_road_crosswalk_santa_barbara . Why not take the money from another of the city's on- going downtown and street projects that are making the downtown such a mess? How about the misguided intentions to make two-lane streets into one lanes, de la vina and also Santa Barbara St, or whatever they are doing there with little notice to the public?! Or the ridiculous “bike boulevard” planned for Alisos? Or, Or, Or? But in the meantime speed bumps would help slow down the racers.

yojamey Oct 03, 2020 10:43 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

This crash and injury and death are a tragedy in need of solutions.
Yes for speed reduction and traffic calming and flashing lights for cars and also a reminder to pedestrians to assume that cars will not yield. https://nacto.org/docs/usdg/effects_marked_vs_unmarked_crosswalks_zeeger.pdf

haskelslocal Oct 03, 2020 12:55 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

One thing stands out. The crosswalk is poorly located. Having it cross on the exit side of the parking lot exposes pedestrians to unnecessary right turn traffic heading east from Hendry's. Additionally pedestrians have to cross both the parking lot exit and the street, again higher exposure if heading to the beach. Move the crosswalk West. Place barriers at the corner of Allen Road so there can be no crossing at this spot. People are much safer when crossing where there are fewer traffic angles. Then you can add lights, etc. for higher improvement of safety.

biguglystick Oct 03, 2020 01:58 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

Too many people have discovered Hendry's. With the internet, now EVERYONE knows EVERYTHING. We used to have our local secret spots, but ever notice that when traffic is bad the map apps show all drivers to use the side roads that only the locals know about? It once took me 4 hours to get home from LA! Traffic clogging up the frontage roads (even the back roads in Carp) because apps like Wayz show the tourists the way. And beaches too! NOTHING is sacred anymore. Ugh. TOO damned many people.

SBTownie Oct 03, 2020 04:22 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

I agree. I'm in my early 30s but I really hate what social media and the internet have done to the world. Prior to COVID, I even lost my taste for travel. Everywhere I went was overrun. This includes living in Europe and traveling often locally. It was just a nightmare. And now our town really doesn't feel the same. COVID brought even more out-of-towners in than usual and our beaches, especially, never recovered. Last year there were hardly any non-locals at a beach I frequent; this year it was out of control and a very different scene. I stopped going because it didn't even feel like the same place anymore.

a-1601758755 Oct 03, 2020 01:59 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

I agree that this crosswalk can be a problem, but would like to write against speed humps on Cliff. There are many bikers who ride on Cliff Drive. Having them cross over speed humps on the downhill would be dangerous, especially since most are on Cliff to enjoy the curvy descent. i would advocate for a flashing light or other remedy, but fear that speed humps will lead to more accidents than might be avoided.

a-1601783482 Oct 03, 2020 08:51 PM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

That’s an important point. Most of us haven’t considered how speed humps affect bicyclists. You’d better be sure the traffic people think about this.

PitMix Oct 05, 2020 07:40 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

I bike down Cliff, and if they put in speed humps I would use my brakes to slow down. I am not addicted to the mad thrill of speed and that is what the brakes are used for. Doesn't seem that hard.

PitMix Oct 05, 2020 07:44 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

Problem has been made worse by the County keeping the parking lot at the beach closed until 8am last time I was there. Only place to park for the early birders and dog walkers is on Alan Rd. Maybe this has changed in the last couple of months but if they are still doing this I feel sorry for the homeowners that live there. If they are trying to keep people away through this, it is not working.

a-1601914975 Oct 05, 2020 09:22 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

If you have a round-about, you no longer have breaks in the traffic flow that allow both pedestrian and side street car traffic to proceed safely. This is a given since roundabouts smooth traffic flow to continuous; rather than stop and start.

PitMix Oct 05, 2020 10:29 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

Try biking through that round-about with cars wanting to speed through it. There is no bike lane so the safest thing to do is ride in the middle of the lane and hope a crazy cager doesn't run you over. Not enough room for them to pass and keep 3 ft from you in the circle.

cwazny Oct 05, 2020 10:40 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

Here's a crazy idea. When crossing the street, first look both ways. If a car is coming, from any direction, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS THE STREET. If there are no cars coming, proceed. As a reminder, lines painted on the ground DO NOT have the capability to protect pedestrians from traffic. Don't even get me started on how people manage to get hit by trains...

PitMix Oct 06, 2020 07:18 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

And if a car comes flying around the blind corner like a bat out of hell, run like heck to the other lane with your dog. Be like a motorcyclists, assume all cagers are out to kill you and act accordingly.

a-1601920944 Oct 05, 2020 11:02 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

The safest way is to provide a center resting spot for cars or for pedestrians so they only have to take on crossing one lane of traffic for pedestrians, or entering across one lane of traffic only; and then crossing the second one from this center lane safety perch.

a-1601921345 Oct 05, 2020 11:09 AM
High Risk Crosswalk Near Hendry's Beach

Alan Road residents fought opening their road to a secondary access, in order to curtail a nearby development project. I wonder if that in fact that secondary access would have helped ease their access issues today. Or whether it would have made neighbohood traffic worse, which was their fear at the time - pre roundabout.

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