Line of Sight

A view from behind the pedestrian crosswalk on Fitch Street looking to the left on Powell Avenue, roughly where a driver’s view would be.

During public comment on non-agenda items at the Oct. 7 Healdsburg City Council meeting, Massimo Tuscany spoke up on an intersection he felt was unsafe.

Tuscany, a student at Healdsburg High School, said the intersection at Fitch Street and Powell Avenue was unsafe, and wanted an all-way stop put in place.

Tuscany said he first noticed the safety predicament as he crossed the intersection on his way to school. He said the crosswalk is on part of the road that has limited visibility, which put people at risk.

“Most yield. Some don’t,” he said of oncoming traffic.

He said the intersection was only made worse in his eyes as he worked to get his driver’s license. He said that in order to turn left onto Powell from Fitch to get to school, he had to pull out into traffic lanes of Powell in order to see if cars were coming, too little too late to be safe.

Tuscany said he has heard similar complaints from other residents as well.

The impetus to address council was originally brought on by his civics class, but Tuscany has also reached out to the Healdsburg Police Department to get their input.

Tuscany said he thought the increase to the safety of pedestrians and motorists outweighed the delay in traffic and the added greenhouse gas emissions from cars at a stop.

As this issue was not on the agenda, council did not address it, but Tuscany was directed to Public Works Director Larry Zimmer, who spoke with him on the matter outside the meeting.

“I simply explained the process the city goes through in deciding where and when to add stop signs, or any form of traffic control. Basically, there are certain criteria such as accidents, sight distance and traffic volumes to be met in order for a stop sign to be warranted. We informed Massimo this morning (Oct. 8) by email that none of the warrants were met for Fitch Street and Powell Avenue,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer was impressed by Tuscany’s drive, however.

“I am sure his parents are proud of him for not only caring enough about trying to make changes but to follow it through even after being told no previously. I have two sons in high school, one the same age as Massimo, so I know the courage required for most kids to stand up and speak in a venue such as city council,” Zimmer said.

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