.People Speak Out On Dangerous Pedestrian Crosswalks in Capitola

The daughter of Debra Town spoke out about the dangerous pedestrian conditions at the Thursday evening city council meeting

In an emotional city council meeting in Capitola, multiple people spoke out about what they described as dangerous pedestrians crosswalks the intersection of Bay Avenue and Hill Street where a pedestrian was killed last month

One of the speakers was Adrian West, the daughter of Debra Town, the woman who was killed at that intersection in a hit-and-run in November. 

“Go drive by the intersection of Bay Avenue and Hill Street,” West urged council members. “You can see how dark it is there at this time of night. Mom was walking there at 8:15 in the evening, so you can imagine how hard it is to see.” 

At the meeting on Thursday night, the council received a traffic report on the safety conditions at Bay Avenue and Hill Street.  

Back in September, the Capitola City Council designated $50,000 from its 2023-2024 fiscal year budget to fund revitalize the intersection. An ad-hoc committee was created which has so far held one widely-attended community meeting. 

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In early January, the committee plans to present a design plan that aims to address safety and traffic concerns, with construction slated to begin in spring of next year.  The intent, according to committee members, is to shorten pedestrian crossing distances and additional lighting. But, the committee is still in the process of gathering design feedback and nothing is finalized yet. 

In the meantime, council directed staff to fast-track lighted stop signs. The council unanimously directed the committee to order and install the lighted stop signs as soon as possible prior to the final design, to address some speakers concerns about pedestrian safety during evening and night hours. 

Janet Edwards spoke during the public comment section of this agenda item advocating for the city council to consider bringing someone in on the design process who is blind or has a disability. 

“You need to find people with disabilities who can call attention to these things that you don’t see,” Edwards said. “A blind person at an intersection can’t look someone in the eye to see if they are visible or not.” 

In response to attendees concerns about dangerous pedestrian crosswalks, council also moved forward with restriping the lanes and adding reflective tape on the Hill Street corridor, and to reach out to organizations to coordinate input from senior people on the design of the renovation. 

1 COMMENT

  1. I am a 74 year old woman who walks to the Senior Center, the grocery store, the medical clinic and CVS. All located at the intersection of Bay and Hill St. I cross at Bay and Capitola Ave. to avoid the dangerous conditions at Bay and Hill. Unfortunately the intersection, the less dangerous intersection I use is still heavily trafficked and difficult to cross. Gayle’s along with other popular commercial enterprises share one corner. Grady’s Market, US Bank and Capitola fruit and vegetable stand populate the other three corners. This is also dangerous! I don’t have a car because I imagined I could walk where I needed
    to go when I moved here from Soquel. I can not. I am afraid of the speeding heavy traffic. Is there even a place in Capitola where the birdsong is not drowned out by traffic?

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Aiyana Moya
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