Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The fifth violent death occurred on May 27, 2013 due, in my road safety view, due to irresponsible removal of a critically important center median shoulder to make way for another lane (future toll lane is likely) that used to allow space for a disabled vehicle and safety zone for occupants.

Callous Caltrans (District 4) and distracted San Mateo County Transportation officials have removed the center safety shoulder median from this stretch of US101, such that a vehicle is only inches (less than 12" or so) from the center K-rail at 65 mph.  A car can easily hit or touch it, lose control, spin out, then the immobilized vehicle will get whacked from other fast-moving vehicles with no escape route or path available in the midst of 5 lanes of fast moving traffic on either side of the freeway.

US101 here, and other highways in this Caltrans district are thus, killing zones for disabled, unconscious, injured, or live and post-accident ambulatory motorists and passengers. No escape to safety is possible from the center area, nor for oncoming vehicles to dodge around a stopped car.

So, it is a multi-lane bloody, viciously violent road, from Broadway past SR92 since it was recently repaved to eliminate even a minimal median shoulder.  In some segments,  not even a right side shoulder exists anymore (Poplar). Her death is the Fifth most horrific and unspeakably violent death in the no-shoulder stretch between Broadway to Poplar to 3rd Ave. Sad, very sad, and so unnecessary from a highway safety viewpoint. I hope a very mean bulldog-type Personal Injury attorney gets involved to rectify and stop further tragedies of such beloved people here and elsewhere on such deliberately unsafe roads. 
Another SM County example is at I-280 at Edgewood where a tiny 4' median shoulder contributed to 2 deaths there, too, when that SUV got a flat tire and could not get completely off the fast (#1) lane, presumably.  Where else could they go? Certainly not across four lanes of traffic to the right shoulder at that time of day. 
This is a testament to San Mateo County Transportation agency, elected officials, and Caltrans disregard for the most basic roadway safety needs--that costs real people their lives in the most horrific way. Friends and family suffer lifelong pain.    Caltrans and local transportation agencies are eliminating too many safety shoulders here and elsewhere, but San Mateo County is one of the worst. Perhaps this is because their Transportation head holds three jobs in order to "earn" over $432,000/yr and is too focused on transit only.   But, he can do no justice to any of the three jobs by holding all three.  Too many violent, vicious road deaths occur in San Mateo County, in my view.

It is ironic indeed, that the new Devil's Slide (SR1) tunnels have escape routes for accident and stalled vehicle occupants, as does the new Caldecott Tunnel, yet, Caltrans and local transportation agencies are eliminating such safety zones, shoulders, and routes. 

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