Friday, December 09, 2005

Letter to Mister Roadshow of Mercury News

An accident waiting to happen
What were they thinking? The entrance from Borello Drive onto Bascom Avenue is a poorly designed, dangerous intersection that crosses train tracks where not only freight trains cross but now also the light rail extension. Who was the genius that thought up (or should I say didn’t think AT ALL) this fiasco?

Picture this. You drive up out Borello Drive to make a right turn onto Bascom Avenue - a very heavily traveled, fast-moving traffic thoroughfare. Now that the light rail goes through this intersection, there is a light at your left and a railroad crossing-gate in front of you as you approach Bascom. You have to STOP before the crossing gate, before the train tracks, before you enter Bascom. Well guess what? When you are stopped in that spot on Borello, you cannot see the approaching traffic on Bascom to make an intelligent judgment about proceeding into the quagmire or hanging back and waiting. Hmmm... what other choice do I have? Oh, right. I can proceed onto the tracks so I can see the oncoming traffic --isn’t that where you would want to make your decision about whether to merge onto Bascom - sitting on train tracks? Or I can zoom across the tracks and come to an abrupt stop in that oh so small car length that puts me just barley on the other side of the tracks (and I hope out of harms way) and into the Bascom parking lane just so I can see what my choices are before I proceed.

I’ve seen traffic lights go in at intersections where I could have taken a nap at the wheel and felt safe in comparison to this intersection! And pay close attention to this next bit of information, please. Right off Borello Drive is Quail Hollow - a senior citizen community. These are the people that, among others, are thrown into this nightmarish traffic situation every day! Have they tried to do something about it to make it safer - you bet. Have they gotten any satisfaction, NO. Meetings with VTA officials and city council representatives have resulted in nothing but a lot of political double-talk. My mother lives in that complex and I fear for her life. How long will this nightmare have to go on? Until a train runs into a driver and people die is my hunch. Is this really the best we can do?

Susan Sloan
San Jose

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