Stanton speeders face tireless ticketers
CASTRO VALLEY: In response to residents' complaints, sheriff sends troops to watch throughway
By Karen Holzmeister
Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. Tom Rodrigues is quick on the draw with a pen and traffic citation pad.
During some of his 26 years with the Hayward Police Department, Rodrigues wrote 300 traffic tickets a month.
Now, speeding scofflaws on Stanton Avenue better be on the lookout for patrol officers.
Starting this week, the three-year veteran of the sheriff's office will deploy officers during morning, afternoon and early-evening commute hours to ticket people who speed on the popular bypass road.
"Nobody will be exempted," Rodrigues told the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council and Stanton Avenue residents Monday. "Sometimes, people who live in the neighborhood are so comfortable, they lose track of speed. But you're going to see us; oh, you'll see me."
The extra patrols are a response to neighborhood complaints, many in the past few months, of heavy traffic and speeding motorists on Stanton and other streets off Castro Valley Boulevard.
Resident Brenda Rae, whose dog was hit by a car in November, said motorists rarely pay attention to the 30 mph speed limit on Stanton. The California Highway Patrol handles patrols in unincorporated areas. Rae and another neighbor complained they never see CHP officers stop motorists.
"Nothing's been done, and I'm really frustrated," Rae told council members. "A child is going to be killed, and then something will be done."
Many drivers try to avoid gridlock on Castro Valley Boulevard by using Stanton as an alternate route in town, heading west to Interstate 580 or east to Crow Canyon Road. Ambulances dash and trucks rumble up Stanton en route to Eden Medical Center.
Alameda County traffic engineer John Bates said 12,000 cars per day have been tracked on Stanton. The volume of traffic, and ambulances using Stanton to reach the hospital, preclude the installment of speed bumps closer to Castro Valley Boulevard.
The county is employing traffic-slowing and safety measures on the north end of Stanton, including an intersection "bulb" at Carlton Avenue and sidewalks outside Stanton Elementary School at Stanton and Somerset Avenue.
A flashing sign showing motorists how fast they are traveling will be installed on Stanton closer to Castro Valley Boulevard.
Rodrigues said he will come to next month's council meeting with an update on the number of traffic stops, citations and the speeds at which motorists were traveling.