Neighbors opposed to plan to relocate Whipple crosswalk

Neighbors oppose plan to relocate Whipple crosswalk

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A proposal to relocate a crosswalk on Whipple Avenue in Redwood City has upset several neighbors.

Based upon a 2017 road analysis, city staff determined that the crosswalk at Woodstock Place should be relocated to Iris Street to increase pedestrian safety. A design of the new enhanced crosswalk at Iris St. was completed early this year and advertised for construction in July 2018.

Problem is, residents living on Whipple said they only heard about the project when the city sent a letter less than two weeks ago.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, the project contract was scheduled to be awarded. Following complaints from multiple neighbors, however, no decision was made in order to allow for further public outreach.

The problem of high traffic volume and speeding on Whipple Avenue dates back several years. In 2010, neighbors fought to get additional crosswalks installed on Whipple. In 2011, two were installed on Woodstock and on Nevada Street along with other safety enhancements such as additional signage. Since then, neighbors say, there have been no major accidents or injuries in the area, and the crosswalk has been useful for students traveling to schools.

When it came time in 2015 to conduct a paving project on Whipple, public outreach led to renewed interest in safety enhancements on Whipple, according to the city. Some short-term enhancements were installed when the paving project was done in 2016. At the same time, according to city staff, consultants were hired to evaluate safety enhancements. An ensuing study looked at four locations in the area for potential enhanced crosswalks and decided having one at Iris Street rather than Woodstock was optimal.

About a half-dozen neighbors who came to Monday’s City Council meeting to oppose the plan disagree with that finding. Further complicating matters, in 2016 the city approved a permit allowing a homeowner to relocate his driveway, which now runs into the Woostock crosswalk, a probable code violation.

Photo: City of Redwood City