Community members and officials meet about Telegraph-Dwight intersection safety

Sean Goebel/Staff
People demonstrating the lack of pedestrian safety measures on the corner of Dwight Way and Telegraph Avenue.

Demonstrators gathered at the intersection of Dwight Way and Telegraph Avenue Monday to raise awareness of traffic and pedestrian danger they said the spot is notorious for.

About 10 community members and local government officials — including Councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin — met at around noon near the southwest corner of the intersection, where a right turn “slip lane” feeds traffic from Dwight onto Telegraph.

Worthington, whose district encompasses the area, said he receives more safety complaints about the particular intersection where the slip lane meets the median on Telegraph via a crosswalk than about any other in his district.

Wendy Alfsen, executive director of pedestrian advocacy group California Walks, said the slip lane design of the right turn can make it so drivers do not see a pedestrian stepping off the curb and into the crosswalk until they are very close to the intersection and have accelerated to get around the curve.

“This is an intersection that is waiting for death to happen,” she said.

Worthington said at the meeting that the cheapest and simplest short-term solution to the safety problem at the intersection — which currently features a pedestrian-crossing sign — would be the installation of stop sign. He added that though he is not aware of any recent pedestrian fatalities at the intersection, it has been the site of car accidents and near accidents.

According to ASUC Senator Anthony Galace, the meeting was planned after he approached Worthington about the intersection because he noticed how dangerous it is while traversing it over the summer.

During the course of the meeting, a driver using the slip lane to merge onto Telegraph came close to hitting a pedestrian in the crosswalk while driving around the curve.

“If you stand here for an hour, you’re probably going to see someone almost get hit,” Worthington said.

Sarah Burns is the lead crime reporter.