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SAFE Issue#10 - Alameda - Santa Cruz “Y” Intersection

Provides full Safety Issue details as PDFA critical point is at the “Y” intersection of Santa Cruz and the beginning of Alameda de las Pulgas.   This intersection is unacceptably dangerous for cyclists, pedestrians, motorists, and those residents that have driveways there. 

The engineering of this intersection is poorly done and yet no corrective actions have been done, even after several safety and traffic studies.  The 2010 Berkeley Pedestrian Safety Assessment seems to have been ignored.  

Just some of the many  issues:

  • Crosswalks are excessively long requiring long exposure of pedestrians
  • Crosswalks are at unsafe angles to traffic flow and have poor visibility
  • No stop limit lines at crosswalks to keep cars at safe distance
  • NE corner is blind and no traffic control button to get to small island
  • NW corner at Campo Bello blind - SB right turn can’t see pedestrians
  • NE Bound Santa Cruz is high speed turn and nearly always green
  • Residents can’t safely exit their properties along turn of Santa Cruz
  • Absolutely no bike lane guidance or awareness - a no mans land
  • Lack of mitigation of traffic speed, even on NE curve
  • Unusual addition of a third NB traffic lane prior to the turn
  • Excessive lane changes by NB traffic due to added lane
  • No proper walkways or sidewalks north and east of “Y”
  • Traffic signs and poles in middle of walkways

Traffic often underestimates the safe speed for the NB curve at the “Y”.  Neighborhood children live in these houses and in the example below, the children's lemonade stand is just a few feet from traffic that is whizzing by at 35mph along a curve that only gives seconds of reaction time to conditions hidden by the curve.  

Santa Cruz / Alameda "Y" intersection

The other photos here show the disrepair of the walkways, sign poles that block access to the path, and results of out of control vehicles.  Thank– fully there were no pedestrians on that pathway when the truck struck.The goal in this annotated photo is to insure an understanding that this intersection is poorly engineered and extremely unsafe for all that use it. On the following pages there are potential solution options, some based on the 2010 Berkeley Pedestrian Safety Assessment.  But keep in mind, there are far more serious issues than those shown here.  

 Santa Cruz / Alameda "Y" intersection


Click on the File link below to see the full Safety Issue and proposed solution options.  Have a suggestion or concern? Enter your Comment below.


There are some layout issues that make the reading of the webpage a little confuing. Both main pictures (labeled map and collage of accidents) are reproduced twice.

I, for one, would start the discussion about lemonade stands and accidents in a fresh paragraph AFTER the map and before the accident collage.

Thursday, 8/18, 7:45am
Walking across Santa Cruz Avenue toward Campo Bello.
Pedestrian walk signal indicated I could cross, but the car coming from Santa Cruz part of the Y continued through the intersection.

Either the light and indicator changes too fast or the car ran the light. Either way, the intersection is unsafe for pedestrians.

Suggested remedies:
Stop all traffic when the pedestrian signal is pressed.

Delay the change in signals so cars and pedestrians are assured the other direction is stopped before proceeding

Flashing pedestrian signs

This is a residential street and there is no safe way for pedestrians (kids visiting friends houses) to cross from the East side to the West of Santa Cruz Avenue or to cross the "Y" to get to the East side of Alameda. The cars are driving way too fast and there is no marked crossing area. Currently, we have to cross toward Campo Bello and back across Alameda to walk on the West side of Santa Cruz Avenue.

Slowing down the Y off Alameda would be great. Not sure why people punch it when they come to this intersection, they are not going far as there is a four way stop. Maybe a few Silent Police (large speed bumps) may help.

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