Traffic Jammin’ with Janis Mara – New Crosswalk Law, New WC BART Parking Garage, Traffic Signal on Treat + MORE

October 16, 2017 14:00 pm · 14 comments

Traffic Jammin’ with Janis Mara – Every first and third Monday at 2 p.m. on

TRAFFIC JAMMER: Greetings, all! This column is for everyone who negotiates the highways and public transit of the Bay Area. It runs every first and third Monday of the month at 2pm and answers your commuting and transportation questions.

Email your questions to

COMMUTER: This new crosswalk legislation is rad. One issue I have, is that I was on a crutch last week, when I entered the crosswalk the countdown started at 9 seconds, I scurried, and time ran out. This was in San Francisco where the drivers and traffic are nuts! Fortunately, I was not caromed to the curb by a nutso.


TRAFFIC JAMMER: J., thanks for bringing this new California law to the Jammer’s attention! Beloved Claycordians, the Jammer herself was unaware that in the past it was actually a crime to step into the crosswalk if the timer was counting down. The ticket could run you around $250!

The new legislation, Assembly Bill 390, was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown Oct. 2. Now, it’s legal to enter the crosswalk when the “DON’T WALK” or “WAIT” signs are flashing, or when the countdown is on. The catch: You must finish crossing before the display changes to the steady “DON’T WALK,” “WAIT” or “Upraised hand.” (That’s what J. was referring to.)

But seriously, who knew it was a crime before this? The new law goes into effect in January.

TRAFFIC JAMMER: Claycordians have been asking about the new 900-space parking garage under construction at the Walnut Creek BART station. This is Phase 1 of a transit village with 596 apartments that will be built there. Here’s what Pony asked:

COMMUTER: Just to see if I got this right. The WC developer is building the parking structure, it will be privately owned and the owner will manage the parking permits.

So is BART getting or not getting revenue from this? If BART is getting the parking revenue, how much are they paying the lot owner for their services? If it is private, will BART be responsible for reporting or investigating any crimes that happen within? I wouldn’t think they would have jurisdiction.


TRAFFIC JAMMER: Excellent questions, Pony! Here are the answers from BART spokesman Chris Filippi:

“BART will not be getting any of the parking revenue.  City of Walnut Creek Police have jurisdiction in the garage for crime-related incidents, as the BART Police charter does not allow them to enforce in facilities not owned by BART.  Enforcement of parking (payment) will be by a private firm.”

COMMUTER: Why is the north/eastbound Treat Boulevard light at San Simeon so short? It cycles in about 10 seconds.


TRAFFIC JAMMER: As most Beloved Claycordians already know, sensors embedded in the pavement in front of traffic lights sense the presence of cars and send signals to controlling mechanisms that change the lights. Abul Hossain, Concord’s transportation program manager, said the sensor at this intersection is damaged.

Hossain is going to arrange for the sensor to be repaired, but this will take time. In the interim, Hossain told the Jammer, he has sent workers to adjust the timing of the light. Wondering, is the light functioning better now?

TRAFFIC JAMMERThat’s it for this week. Be sure to cruise by at 2pm on the first and third Mondays of the month for more traffic intelligence. Remember, whether you drive, walk, bike or hop Amtrak, BART, County Connection or AC Transit, Traffic Jammer Janis Mara is here to answer your questions.

Send your questions to

FAA October 16, 2017 at 2:13 PM

When has anybody gotten a ticket for a crosswalk violation? There is rare enforcement of any traffic laws in CA. Speeding, red light running, driving through (not rolling) through stop signs, texting while driving, failure to use turn signals (including the police) are just some of the things seen every day.

Dorothy October 16, 2017 at 2:36 PM

Thanks for the heads up on crosswalks and their signs. Do you know if there will be any kind of exemption for very slow seniors or disabled? Not everyone can get across in the allotted time even when they start at the beginning.

ConcordMike October 16, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Maybe the Don’t Walk sign could be accompanied by a “Keep Your Head Up” sign.

King Archie the Invincible October 16, 2017 at 3:09 PM

I have no problem with the new crosswalk law provided that when I’m driving and some ancient granny or wheelchair bound grandpa doesn’t clear the crosswalk in time I have the right to plow them under! (I’m being sarcastic because the law is bogus either way: there is NO ENFORCEMENT undertaken either way!) When was the last time you received or witnessed a cop issuing a crosswalk citation? The new law will just encourage the “it’s all about me” crowd to just saunter across a street at their leisure and tell the drivers to stuff it.

TIFOKCIS October 16, 2017 at 3:27 PM

OMG not another CA law on the books. Adding another unenforced law has me all stressed out.

Flipping JOKE!

RegularBARTRider October 16, 2017 at 5:20 PM

Interesting information from BART that raises more questions. Is there a new memorandum of understanding between WCPD and BART PD? The one included in the EIR back in 2012 clearly states that both parking structures will be under BART PD’s jurisdiction.
When the EIR was prepared and all the City Council approvals were done, it certainly appeared as though the new garage was going to be operated by BART and not be any different from the existing garage. Were there any public meetings after 2012 which addressed the fact that BART is not going to own and operate the new garage, where traffic flow, police responsibility, parking fees for the new garage, etc. would have been discussed? Should there have been?

Jojo Potato October 16, 2017 at 8:10 PM

@Regular – most of the enforcement in WC garages is already done by a private firm so I don’t see much change.

RegularBARTRider October 16, 2017 at 9:49 PM

I was referring to crime-related incidents, rather than parking enforcement.

Starman October 17, 2017 at 3:40 AM

If your handicapped the judge would just throw it out. Pedestrian have the right of way over vehicles. Public safety trumps this law.

robnotbob October 17, 2017 at 11:00 AM

The “ancient granny” pedestrian has the same obligation as a teenager – pay attention. Don’t be stupid. The elderly KNOW they are slow, and must adjust their decision-making accordingly. I’m old too, and I spend a lot more time than I used to just waiting for a fresh WALK signal.

Mimi (original) October 17, 2017 at 5:14 PM

While we’re on the subject of crosswalks and laws, I would like clarification on one I’ve heard about, but don’t know if it’s true. I’ve heard that if there’s a pedestrian ANYWHERE in the crosswalk, regardless of which side they’re on versus which direction a paused car is traveling, that NO VEHICLE is allowed to move until the pedestrian is on the curb on the destination side of the street. Is this true?? I mostly see people begin to travel through the crosswalk once the pedestrian has moved past the center line and is crossing the lane that is going the other direction. Thanks in advance!!

WC resident October 17, 2017 at 9:04 PM

The BART person failed to answer the question.

The core question is “So is BART getting or not getting revenue from this?”

BART danced around but failed to answer if they are leasing the land and what the terms of that lease are. We know they will no longer be getting parking revenue and so I assume there’s some payment that’s similar to or more than the parking revenue.

If it’s a lease then what happens at the end of the lease term? Will BART become the owner of the buildings?

Hugh October 17, 2017 at 11:10 PM

Waiting for the discussion on the Sunol Grade….


UMMMMM..... October 18, 2017 at 12:31 PM

I’m waiting for the discussion about the new Fastrak lanes on 680!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: