How Dangerous Is This Marin Avenue Intersection?

Community members say that speeding cars, a blind corner and lack of light makes Marin at Tulare Avenue an accident waiting to happen. And for 18-year-old Tyler De Martini — it did.

After dark, spotting pedestrians on the crosswalk on Marin Avenue at Tulare is difficult, to say the least. The lack of street lighting, coupled with a blind turn and speeding traffic, makes this intersection a dangerous one, according to locals.

On Monday night, by being hit by a car here. No fault has been assigned in the incident — it was dark, De Martini wasn't wearing a helmet, and the Berkeley Police Department's investigation is ongoing. But community members have responded by drawing attention to the dangers the intersection poses to all types of traffic, from vehicles to pedestrians.

"Even with traffic calming measures, cars still speed," said Marcy Greenhut on the Berkeley Patch Facebook page.

Mary Nicely added that she lives three doors down from the intersection and never crosses there, no matter what time of day. "People drive too fast and it is dark as hell at night," she said, adding that she has complained to the Berkeley Public Works Department about the lack of lighting — to no avail.

Krista Miller, who lives on Tulare Avenue, says that she and her two children have caused two fender benders crossing the intersection in the past six months. Speeding cars were too close to one another or speeding, she says, and therefore unprepared to stop.

Miller's husband, Ryan Smith, says that he spoke to the Berkeley Police Department about the dangers of the intersection and was told to take the matter to the city council. 

Berkeley Patch will be investigating city and police efforts to make this Marin Avenue intersection safer, as well as quantifying traffic collisions and incidents. If you have any information to share, please comment below or email berkeley@patch.com.

Has this been a dangerous intersection for you or your family? Share your experiences in the comments.

Lou Judson February 01, 2012 at 02:20 PM
A good friend lost his wife just a few blocks East of here a couple of years ago. She was jogging and it was not dark! Marin needs a lot of work to become safer, light being one thing and stop signs or lights being another. Timed stoplights would not slow the traffic time much, and would save lives! I comuute on Marin two to four times a week, and peds and bikes are not always as careful as they might want to be for their own safety, and the dark intersections are a definite hazard. Some tree trimming and new streetights are the first and simplest action. But if a skateboarder doesn't stop before crossing, I'd call it suicide. And if it was dark, just plain stupid.
Dn February 01, 2012 at 03:21 PM
For years, Marin was two lanes in both directions. The only stop lights were at Marin / The Alameda and then at San Pablo. Lots of drivers sped. Many accidents. Lots of public and council brouhaha. Then, stop lights and crosswalks were added at various intersections. Lots of drivers sped. Many accidents. Lots of public and council brouhaha. Marin ave then transformed from two lanes to one to increase safety and decrease injury. Currently lots of drivers still speed. Many accidents. I see a lot of road raged drivers pass me in the middle lane because I'm going the speed limit. And with a honk and give me their 'evil eye road rage glare' at that. Lots of public and council brouhaha to continue on this saddening incident. Prayers to all parties involved in yet another sickening combination to make an awful perfect storm in the history of this particular avenue.
Jason February 01, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Any intersection can be dangerous if you're not paying attention. I'm tired of everyone wanting to enact tougher laws to 'protect' people from inattentiveness. Pay attention when driving! If anything we need to make the Drivers License test harder as careless driving is an epidemic and not localized to Marin.
Jen Daly February 01, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Marin Avenue divides a residential neighborhood with many families with kids. In order to see their friends, get to and from school, etc., kids have to cross Marin. At the same time, Marin is a route to the freeway for many commuters who are busy, distracted, tired, in a hurry, etc. No clue what caused this particular accident--speeding driver, speeding skateboarder, lack of visibility, total bad luck. But I know the combination of kids and commuters on Marin is always an accident waiting to happen. I see no good reason not to keep trying to make changes that will improve safety, especially figuring out some way to slow the traffic down. Timed lights seems like a good idea--why has that not been done in the past?


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