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Friday, December 17, 2010

Reckless Driving at Ocean Beach Parking Lot

When I have to drive my car to work, I normally drive downhill going past the historic Cliff House and along Great Highway (southbound), and always pass by the large parking lots for the people wanting to enjoy the beach. The segment I am talking about today is the Ocean Beach/Great Highway parking lot nearest to Balboa & Great Highway.

One of the issues I regularly see is when drivers decide to skip the stop sign at Balboa by taking the turn-off before Balboa to enter the parking lot, drive straight through at full speed (speed limit on Great Highway is 35) and take the parking lot exit that continues along southbound Great Highway (basically, taking an illegal shortcut).

If you remember your driver's education, driving in a parking lot is limited to 10 MPH (please correct me if I'm wrong) and that's because of many people walking around the lot loading and unloading their cars, and the risk of vehicles slowly backing out of their space.

By speeding in a parking lot, and using it as a shortcut to avoid skipping the stop sign at Balboa, it could be considered reckless driving as defined by the California Vehicle code, section 23103(b):
"(b) A person who drives a vehicle in an offstreet parking facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12500, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving."
Something needs to be done to stop people from taking this shortcut, and the possible risk of a person getting hit and killed or getting into a car wreck. Since the lot seriously needs new parking stall stripes, can they also install some speed bumps?

To make it visually understanding of what I'm talking about, I've used Google's street view to help me out:

View Larger Map
This is the entrance to the parking lot if a driver is going southbound and just recently passed the Cliff House. I see drivers decide to cut through the parking lot at this point to avoid the stop sign at Balboa (below).

View Larger Map
This is the stop sign location at Balboa & Great Highway. Since there is nothing ordering drivers to stop if they drive in the parking lot, they just go full speed just to save themselves a few seconds.

View Larger Map
The blue car in the middle is yielding to approaching traffic. Many who decide to shortcut just bolts right through if there's light traffic and gets away with it.

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