In the weekly feature called "e-views, we invite readers to answer a question via email.
Last week s question:
Last week another teenager lost his life in a car accident on Hillcrest Avenue, a major thoroughfare in Antioch. Have you found this road to be populated with speeding drivers? Is there anything the city can or should do to make this road more safe?
THIS ROAD IS extremely dangerous. Cars go up to 60 mph on Hillcrest Avenue, and there is a lot of blind corners at the light. It s not just on Hillcrest Avenue -- speeding and reckless driving is rampant in Antioch. Antioch was a safer place for driving when we had traffic enforcement and motor cops. A while back, officer Joe Zannarini could be lurking around any corner nabbing speeders. Since the program s abolishment, Antioch has become a dangerous place to drive.
IT IS TRAGIC that another life has to be lost in order for a change and improvement to take place.
There are many solutions to solve this speeding problem. Our city officials are paid a handsome sum to resolve issues like this, but I will do it at no charge. Install bot dots at various points along the racetrack. They are annoying and will slow traffic). Place an out-of-service patrol car at different points along the roadway. This has proved to be a very effective deterrent. Lower the speed limit; probably the simplest solution. Get a few officers out there to write some tickets. Where are they? Antioch seems like the Wild West lately. And, add a few more stop lights.
I HAVE SAID it before, and I will say it again, we need cameras to give tickets to all the red light runners and people running stop signs. It will pay for itself.
SINCE MY DAUGHTER and newly driving grandson live a mere block away, I would love to say it ain t so. Truth be told, though, this is speeder s heaven, or in case of increasingly all too familiar mishaps, hell. I drive it to and fro work and seeing people on Hillcrest Avenue at 50-55 mph is commonplace. The winding road is seductive; frankly, it s tempting to want and play Mario Andretti.
I know police are understaffed and under-budgeted, but getting some traffic control back in Antioch will be so welcomed. I wonder how costly it would be to get those cameras I see perched by the lights operational? In the meantime, we all need to take driving more seriously. Let s slow down -- maybe not a bad prescription even when we re not behind the wheel.
HONESTLY NOTHING CAN be done to change how people drive. All the city can do is do all safety measures necessary to know they put forth all effort. Reckless drivers will still be reckless drivers.
I AGREE WITH Diane Lusty and Bianca Ruehlig. I have lived right off Hillcrest Avenue for 15 years. The only time I see police is at the many accidents. Personally, I have never seen anyone getting pulled over for a ticket. I understand police are overworked, but there has to be a resolution before more people are tragically hurt and killed. Just my opinion.
I HAVE LIVED off Hillcrest Avenue for 12 years; it is like a freeway. I cannot merge onto Hillcrest from my side street unless I have a green light, it is unsafe. I recommend police patrol with radar; tickets will be handed out all day. Maybe traffic cameras for red light runners and posted signs that say radar enforced area. Ultimately the police patrol would be the best.
YES, THE CITY must figure out a way to decrease these type of incidents. We are all concern citizens and tax payers and some of us who live in the area still pay Mello Roos). I think the city needs to reconsider priorities and expenditures.
ACCIDENTS ARE NOT the result of posted speed limits. Reducing speed will do nothing. Accidents are the result of how the East Bay population drives. The roads are full of horrible drivers who drive at excessive speeds, weaving in and out of traffic, cutting drivers off, and run red lights or simply fail to stop at stop signs entirely.
CRACK DOWN ON racing. A lot of it is on Hillcrest Avenue and Lone Tree Way. Rumble strips seem like a good idea, but are those practical for a major roadway? There s already plenty of lights. I don t know!
FIGURE OUT A way to pay for more police officers. Create a traffic unit and be a presence. If you get enough tickets you stand the chance of loosing your license, then you learn to slow down and abide by laws.
HILLCREST AVENUE, VASCO Road, Byron Highway -- I drive these roads daily at all hours and see it all.
What I don t see is a police presence. Just sitting in the 35 mph zone on Byron Highway would generate tons of ticket revenue. People will lay their horns on you, swing around you as they are in a hurry, and they don t care about the speed limits. It would be the same for Hillcrest. Put a few motorcycle cops on the sidewalk with their radar and you would be writing tickets all day. People will eventually get the message and slow down.
IN 2002 MY daughter s father, Omir Jonas Pangilinan, lost his life on Hillcrest Avenue by a hit-and-run driver. We never found out who did it. He was 22 years old. I would love to do an article in the paper about this to see if anyone remembers this and to see if we could bring his killer to justice.
April and Troy Doyle
I LIVE AT THE end of Davidson Drive, which is also a place where people speed past, just like on Hillcrest. I have people tailgate and speed past me all the time on both streets. We have lived here since 1983. This city has gone downhill. We need more police posted, driving around town. The sad thing is I know the city can t afford that. I ll go weeks without seeing a police car. Just sad that we re on our own here.
Mary Jean Armenia
THE CITY CANNOT do anything. There are lights within blocks of each other. The person behind the wheel need to change his thoughts of going the speed limit or speed. He made the choice and sadly took a friend s life.
Diana Lavallee Pickard
THERE HAVE BEEN kids racing for years. Open a drag race strip in Antioch once a week. Charge $20 a car. It would be safer. Make it a car show to make more money.
THE POLICE DEPARTMENT does not have a traffic unit anymore due to budget restraints. Hillcrest Avenue has a lot of problems -- from people running red lights at Highway 4 (many red light runners) to speeders. Antioch needs to bring back traffic enforcement.
BRING BACK THE horse and buggy. You know your not going to be speeding. I m just saying.
Mike Wayne Mcgill
I LIVE ON Lake Alhambra, on the Hillcrest Avenue side. People use this portion of Hillcrest as a cut through to avoid major streets, traffic, and stop lights while traveling from one side of town to the other.
This is also a highly pedestrian populated area because of the lake. People drive through here going between 40-50 mph -- the majority of them texting, not wearing seat belts, drinking alcohol straight from the bottle, talking on their phone, smoking pot, etc. (I have honestly seen it all). I have witnessed numerous accidents over the years due to speeding on this street. It s almost as if people use this portion of the road to do all the things they can t do on more populated streets because they have more of a chance of being seen by a cop. It s only a matter of time before someone s child or pet is run over.
I THINK MAXIMUM speed limit should be reduced by 10 mph, not just on Hillcrest Avenue, but all over town. I feel 15 mph in neighborhoods is a good speed. I think 30 mph needs to be the limit on James Donolon Boulevard and other streets like it. No speed limit over 35 is needed in city limits, unless your on Highway 4, and let s face it, your lucky to do 35 mph on Highway 4. Crystal Burnet
RUMBLE STRIPS. Also, the trees on Hillcrest Avenue approaching intersections need to be cut down or trimmed back.
If you are going south on Hillcrest, you can t see the stoplight as you approach Laurel because of the large trees. Drive it and take notice of the trees and how they obscure the stop lights. I live off Hillcrest and Wild Horse and often hear screeching tires. Good thing there is a fire station nearby.
BY THE TIME people get to Hillcrest Avenue, and the have just driven Highway 4, they have road rage! That s why they are speeding and not thinking. Highway 4 has been a mess for way to long! Clean it all up and take back our roads peeps! Crazy is as crazy does.
I USED TO LIVE on Rodeo Circle from 1989-2002 and my back yard was right at that turn, and all day and night you heard tires squealing from that turn. It is banked wrong. Poor engineering.
SINCE WE KEEP laying off the police officers, so they can t do the job, why don t we get surveillance cameras? Any negative activity that they see on it, they can send them a ticket in the mail.
I WONDER HOW many more accidents and hit-and-run accidents it will take before the city takes action?
If I had the time and resources, I would love to plop myself on my corner (Hillcrest/Sterling Hills) and just compile videos of how dangerous this corner is. A patrol police officer s annual salary averages at $50k a year. A typical speeding ticket costs $300. That comes out to approximately 166 speeding tickets per year, or three tickets per week. If we had a position strictly for patrolling where a profit (minus insurance, employer costs, etc.) paid for their position -- we can probably hire at least three more patrolling police officers .
HILLCREST AVENUE has a lot of speeding, but the speeding is there because Lone Tree Way has people going slower than the speed limit and Highway 4, and the bypass as a traffic jam.
The city can do several things: fix the lights on Hillcrest and Lone Tree, connect Laurel Road to the Oakley exit on the bypass (not easy) and install red light cameras.
GET THOSE COPS to start hiding in the woodwork everywhere that citizens complain about speeding. At least one patrol car chilling at Hillcrest Avenue would probably get three or more speeders a day. And I mean 60 mph speeders.
WELL, I AM A truck driver and people are in too big of a hurry to get to where they are going. What happened to the old-school techniques: turn signals to make lane changes, and tapping your brakes to let people merge into your lane? People only think about themselves nowadays while behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Timothy Joe Winn
I FIND MOST major roads in Antioch have a speeding problem. The latest accident is mostly a behavior and parental problem that is plague.
IT S NOT THE road that s unsafe, it s the idiots who speed down that street and cause accidents. Yes, there could be more officers to patrol that road, but that s not going to happen. We are short on officers and I highly doubt that they will have more officers to patrol that road.
SPEEDERS ARE ONLY part of the problem. Half the time people are distracted and driving between 35 and 40 mph. So, yes, patrol for all of it. High-schoolers racing can happen on any street.
Linda Bunn Morgan
IT S HAPPENING ALL over town. The speeding and the red light runners -- they don t think they will be caught, especially since its been well broadcast there aren t any police watching. The fine men and women in blue are spread too thin.
Cheryl Fehd McHugh
YEAH, THE COPS can start pulling people over and give them tickets. The cops are too chicken. I see people speeding everywhere I go, even when a cop is around. -- they don t even pull the speeders over.
My street, Doncaster Drive, is used as a cut-through; people use my street as a speedway and we are getting mad. The cops don t do anything as a car speeds by them, they just sit at the 7-Eleven for hours doing nothing but talking between each other. It s time so make then do something or we take it in our hands to stop making cars speed down my street, and they won t like it.
This week's question:
In the past week, a young boy died after being struck by a car while riding his bike to school in Byron. Some have suggested additional safety measures are needed whether it be a traffic light on the county road, the closing of the exit from the school to the highway or something else. Do you think additional safety measures should be implemented, and if so, what should be done?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. .Note: Please respond before Monday.