One of the pedestrian safety signs in front of the Larkfield Shopping Center on Old Redwood Highway, which appears to have been hit more than once. Road Warrior reader photo

Here’s a question from a reader:

I’ve noticed these signs popping up all over the place in the middle of crosswalks. They are narrow tall signs mounted to the street that say yield to pedestrians. One spot I have noticed them is at the crosswalk at Old Redwood Hwy at Lark Center Drive in front of the Larkfield Shopping Center. These signs are usually out of the way but at this crosswalk they are effectively in the middle of the road, and as a result, they are constantly getting run over. They are run over so frequently that the county comes out and replaces them about every few weeks.  My question is why do they keep replacing them only to get run over again? I also wonder how much it costs to replace them so often. Thanks, Leo

The answer comes from Tom O’Kane, deputy director of the Sonoma County Department of Transportation and Public Works, who says the signs are part of a department effort to improve safety for pedestrians at crosswalks — “They make people think about it.”

The county also has such signs up on Fulton Road near River Road, at Willowside Middle School on Hall Road west of Santa Rosa and El Verano Middle School in the Sonoma Valley. (Other cities in the area also have the signs.) The department also has painted “LOOK!” on the street at the crosswalk at Willowside to catch the attention of pedestrians, he said.

As whether the signs are targets for some drivers? “Absolutely,” O’Kane says.

The signs are on flexible stands and bend when hit by cars and trucks. But some still are damaged beyond repair.

O’Kane says the department has had to replace two or three of the entire assembly at a cost of about $200 each. But often just the actual sign is damaged and that’s replaced for less than $50, he said.

Two pedestrian safety signs are on the crosswalk in front of Larkfield center, but the one on the right lost one side of its sign. Road Warrior reader photo. Click to enlarge

If you have a question for the Road Warrior, please email it to jim.fremgen@pressdemocrat.com
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  1. Mike

    I was wondering now that the HWY 101 widening construction is complete in Cotati & Rohnert Park when is the speed limit going to be increased from 55 mph back to 65 mph again?

    November 4th, 2012 10:23 am

  2. matthew hardisty

    stupid and careless driver’s who run’s over the sign that is in the middle of the road. it is same road i ride my bike(bicycle) on weekends and long holiday’s. i see lot’s of things people do as they drive(texting, reading paper, using cell phone stucked to their ear, driving with their knee: eating, putting make-up on, and looking for something under the seat). i have even seen local police using the cell phone as they drive. they know the traffic law’s and WHY ARE THEY VIOLATING the law’s they are suppose to enforce?

    November 4th, 2012 10:25 am

  3. Matthew S

    An issue to discuss in class. My answer to the letter from the reader: I see it’s placed at the edge of said crosswalk on the limit line of the Sharrow (bike lane). How are people hitting it if they are driving BETWEEN the lines as they are supposed to? There’s most likely no reason to merge into the Sharrow (bike lane) at this point.

    It’s amazing how bad people drive, developing habits they’ve had for YEARS. And the State Legislature keeps wanting to give licenses to illegal, undocumented folks….yeah, that’ll make it better.


    November 4th, 2012 11:49 am

  4. Breyko

    Leo, that is a really good question. I have always questioned that.

    November 4th, 2012 2:41 pm

  5. Csr1966

    Thursday morning in Sonoma, Across from St. Francis Church and School, a local Real Estate Agent nearly killed an Elderly Couple as they we Crossing Legally. When I approached her at the Sonoa Squate, she stated she was in a hurry. As she was talking on her Phone.what is Nearly? A Walker was damaged.
    Who really cares. We do. What’s the rush?
    How can Drivers see anyone when tey ate always Multi Tasking. Phones, Teaxting, Kids, Radio, Coffee, Whhat else is next?

    A concerned parent.

    November 4th, 2012 2:46 pm

  6. George White

    This is a good column for info. Why not bring up the safety problems around a school bus with it’s lights flashing. Too many people see to think the light mean just go slower. As a retired school bus driver, I would very much like to see somethiing about it.
    Thank you, and keep up the good work.

    November 5th, 2012 1:01 am

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