Crosswalk controversy on City Council’s agenda

Gilroy’s City Council will review and discuss whether or not to replace a crosswalk on Byers Street and Wren Avenue near El Roble Park, after a resident from that neighborhood repeatedly complained to City staff. 

The crosswalk was removed in August during a major paving project on Wren Avenue from Uvas Park Drive to Mantelli Street. The crosswalk was deemed unsafe because it was not controlled (with blinking lights or a push-button signal).

The City’s decision to remove the crosswalk was based on studies that say said it is more dangerous for pedestrians to cross the street at an uncontrolled crosswalk than with no crosswalk at all – the uncontrolled crosswalk gave pedestrians a false sense of safety and caused them to be more bold than if they were to cross the street at their own risk, according to staff.  

The resident, Dominic Cefalu, angry with the City for removing the crosswalk without warning, approached City Council during their regular meeting on Oct. 1 to request they consider replacing it. 

 

Also on Monday’s agenda:

Council will vote on whether or not they support Proposition 30, a ballot measure that is said to restore furlough days for students and teachers by raising sales tax and income tax for top earners. 

Members of the Gilroy Unified School District and a few community members showed up during Council’s Oct. 15 meeting to ask for the City’s endorsement of the proposition. 

Also on the agenda, Council will review ways to obtain grant funding to upgrade crosswalk signals around the city to Americans with Disibilities Act standards, with braile and voice messaging provided for pedestrians. 

Girl Scout Troop 61323 in Gilroy requested the City upgade pedestrian signals to help the blind during Council’s Oct. 1 regular meeting. 

There are currently 34 signals within city limits that do not have ADA features, each would cost $23,000 to upgrade according to a City staff report. 

The total cost to retrofit the signals would be $782,000. 

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