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.