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August 08, 2018



Totally agree. It is unnecessary and lets all email Andrew Wong.


The case for less signage: “The utopia has already become a reality in Makkinga, in the Dutch province of Western Frisia. A sign by the entrance to the small town (population 1,000) reads "Verkeersbordvrij" -- "free of traffic signs." Cars bumble unhurriedly over precision-trimmed granite cobblestones. Stop signs and direction signs are nowhere to be seen. There are neither parking meters nor stopping restrictions. There aren't even any lines painted on the streets.

"The many rules strip us of the most important thing: the ability to be considerate. We're losing our capacity for socially responsible behavior," says Dutch traffic guru Hans Monderman, one of the project's co-founders. "The greater the number of prescriptions, the more people's sense of personal responsibility dwindles."

Monderman could be on to something. Germany has 648 valid traffic symbols. The inner cities are crowded with a colorful thicket of metal signs. Don't park over here, watch out for passing deer over there, make sure you don't skid. The forest of signs is growing ever denser. Some 20 million traffic signs have already been set up all over the country.

Psychologists have long revealed the senselessness of such exaggerated regulation. About 70 percent of traffic signs are ignored by drivers. What's more, the glut of prohibitions is tantamount to treating the driver like a child and it also foments resentment. He may stop in front of the crosswalk, but that only makes him feel justified in preventing pedestrians from crossing the street on every other occasion. Every traffic light baits him with the promise of making it over the crossing while the light is still yellow.”


The sign is about pedestrian safety and I know some of my neighbors, who use the crosswalks by the Library and City Hall, are delighted by the new stop sign. But that busy intersection is now a forest of signage what with the poles in the various crosswalks reminding motorists to stop for pedestrians.
It requires just one or two vocal advocates for changes in town. People on these commissions, be it city council or others, feel good about "saving the world" and are willing, it seems, to put taxpayer funds to these so-called "improvements."
Please drive westbound on Chapin Avenue to El Camino and see what you think of the "No Right On Red" sign/protocol by the Bank of America. Motorists can see all the way down to Burlingame Avenue and there is plenty of visibility of that crosswalk to the right.
Yet if you are coming eastbound on Chapin, a right-on-red is permitted, despite the fact there is poor visibility of on-coming, southbound traffic!
Mr. Wong told me two people requested the No-Right-On-Red by the B-of-A and so it was his first chance to put his thumbprint on Burlingame.

Please drive to that intersection and send Mr. Wong your thoughts on that, too.


I guess I'm going to have to disagree....Regarding No Right on red at Chapin, I think if people actually obeyed the law there, and didn't turn when it isn't allowed, we'd have fewer collisions.

Chapin (and Howard, too) were widened decades ago and have been been split long ago at their ends with turn lanes. So there is a whole lot of activity (legal, and not) in all directions during regular signal cycles, and then add to the mix the legal (and illegal) turns on red, when it can be difficult to gauge the speed of the oncoming cars, many of whom are jockeying between the lanes at high speed.

I'm with you on the visual blight of so many signs all over town, but having had a number of close calls near the library and city hall (both as a driver, and pedestrian) I was happy about the installation at the library.

I was wondering why there wasn't a counterpart stop sign on the other (southbound side) at the library location, but maybe it was there and I didn't see it. Are there two opposing signs, or just the one, northbound? Anyhow, maybe someone can get the FHA or CHA or whatever body is involved to come up with better signs, but for now, it's all we've got.


Some signage that would be useful is on the Broadway overpass. It would be helpful to paint on the asphalt itself what lane leads where: to the freeways or Rollins road or to Caroline,to Broadway etc. to Airport Boulevard etc? One sign still miss-directs from Airport Boulevard westbound to Broadway and leads you to the southbound freeway on ramp.

Bruce Dickinson

Hey folks, Bruce Dickinson, like any other Ferrari owner, would love to speed and even drift through that section, but I gotta tell you, it's a pretty dangerous area; many people come jamming though that part, making the east/westbound traffic unsure of whether to stop/go. It's pretty confusing as is and there is a lot of pedestrian and bike traffic given the Library and downtown proximity, thereby compounding the confusion and safety issues. Abundance of caution would suggest that the STOP sign is probably a good idea. Joe, c'mon you're retired now, why are you in such a hurry to get everywhere? *wink*

In the meantime, me and my Ferraris are looking forward to driftin....er.. I mean driving through the new roundabout! *wink*.


There is a stop sign "southbound" in front of City Hall, but there are not stop signs at Primrose & Bellevue for north/south traffic.

Jennifer: Please explain why there is not a "No Right On Red" coming eastbound on Chapin at El Camino. If there is evidence of an abnormal number of accidents heading westbound, fine. But if the issue is safety, then a right-on-red should be installed on Chapin at El Camino eastbound.
Or does The City only install these by request and without regard to actual traffic and safety conditions?

And here I thought Bruce Dickinson only rode around town on his (high) horse!


Not a High Horse Gerald, one of his Unicorns.


Generally Gerald, I'd be thrilled if Right on Reds were all made illegal statewide, tomorrow. I don't think we drive well enough, generally, nor concentrated enough to handle them, anymore...

In any case, what I mentioned before, about the early widening of the "downtown" streets was on the eastside ("downtown"), probably to create a turn lane. I don't think these exist on westside, so I suspect there is not as much "action".

I cannot recall a time when there were ever so many people actually walking or biking around in Burlingame or any of these suburban towns in the past. Now they've really got to watch out for themselves.


“Pilot” stop signs are Burlingame’s way of justifying stops when they’re unjustifiable for the usual reasons.

Telling when we can’t get stop signs or even crosswalks where needed in our neighborhoods or within a block of a school, but the people of city hall have trouble crossing the street and in goes “pilot stop” signs post haste.

How many of us have requested crosswalks or stop signs in our neighborhoods and we’re denied because it didn’t have enough accidents? But here where you can see all the way down and most drivers are going residential speeds, the residents of city hall see what the “problem” is and do something about it.


Agreed. This one is pointless and there are many more worthy spots in town than where drivers are on their best behavior.

Haven Herman

Sign is almost blocked by tree branch anyway.


Doesn't the State of California have some sort of licensing system for motorists? Don't people have to be familiar with the driving laws or have we dispensed with that? It used to be motorists were required to stop when they see people crossing the street. Maybe it still is? Having a jungle of Stop Signs, "Stop for Pedestrian" signs, and a maze of Detour signage creates visual chaos. I cross the street on foot, too, by the way. I was taught to "look both ways before crossing." Maybe we should insist on Pedestrian Licensing, too? It's a modest proposal...


I don't disagree. It works (or not) both ways.


The stop sign set-up is confusing. If you're crossing from the library, northbound drivers do stop for you at the stop sign. But as soon as you cross that one direction, you're expecting southbound drivers to stop but they don't and they're not required to. Depending on which way you're crossing, drivers only have a stop sign in one direction but not the other. It's a not a good set-up.


The City should pull this sign before someone gets hurt and it really is their fault for installing such a goofy set-up.


BMW, drivers are required to stop for pedestrians in an occupied crosswalk, so the southbound drivers have always had to stop for people crossing to/from the library. Adding the northbound sign didn't change that.


I have owned three BMW's.
(They were bought for me.)
Anyway, these were three of the most uncomfortable vehicles I have ever driven.
Instead of a New City of Burlingame Wreck & Park Complex being built, an underground passageway could be built between the Stop Signs.
Both are as important to the community as a "Slurpee Brain Freeze, or a flat tire.."
Hopefully, the COB manager has enough sense to hire "outside" agencies that can present a 50 plus year plan.

I doubt that any of the City of Burlingame Elders, alone or combined have the experience to determine a 50 plus year plan for the City of Burlingame.
In my Humble Opinion, the time and monies spent on rebuilding a Rec. Center in Washington Park is criminal.


I was at the library today and had a chance to observe the intersection for a couple of minutes. It's a bit of a mess. The new stop sign has its stop-line about 12 feet short of the crosswalk, but drivers can't ascertain which thick white line to stop at. A couple stopped at both even though there was no pedestrian nearby.

BillyGBob is correct about the Stop for Pedestrians in the crosswalk being the default rule (everywhere), but a one-sided stop sign does appear to add confusion for everyone involved.


This is a common misconception. The state law in California is that drivers shall yield to, but not necessarily stop for, pedestrians in an uncontrolled crosswalk. It’s right there in the DMV handbook and in the Vehicle Code (21950). There’s no language in there about requiring drivers to STOP for pedestrians. Only that they must yield to, by slowing down, or taking other action all the way up to stopping. The legislators were careful in distinguishing yield vs stop, but that is the law in California. If you’re in Oregon or Washington then different as those are one of the 9 “stop for peds” states. More info here:


Bringing it back to these crosswalks. Drivers are required to stop for pedestrians when coming from the approach with the stop sign. But once that walker is crossing the other half of the crosswalk, drivers are not required to stop. They are only required to yield. Hope this clarifies. And yes I know the difference between being legally right and being dead wrong.

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