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Man gets felony charges for trying to make crosswalk safe!

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posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 11:58 AM
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Now when you think of felony vandalism charges...what do you think of? You think of broken windows perhaps? Stolen signs? Graffiti on walls and businesses? Well, even those things may or may not rate a felony and prosecution is even more hit and miss.

How about a man who just got tired of seeing people nearly get hit at his local intersection? Just such a man, in this case, took the initiative to paint himself a crosswalk. Not just any crosswalk, but a BETTER crosswalk than previously existed. See...NONE existed before that, and that's the problem.


VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- A Vallejo man is in jail after taking pedestrian safety into his own hands. He was arrested for painting a crosswalk on Illinois Street at Sonoma Boulevard, right in front of his house.

A sandy swath across Sonoma Boulevard is the ghost of a former crosswalk -- a short-lived and illegal one. Anthony Cardenas, 52, was arrested for felony vandalism Thursday morning.
(Emphasis Mine)

This is somewhat outrageous in my view.


The intersection of Sonoma and Illinois has three legal crosswalks, but for some reason not a fourth. Cardenas lives near the corner and it would make his walk across the street easier, but Caltrans calls the shots on crosswalks, because Sonoma Boulevard is also State Route 29.

"Caltrans is responsible for painting the sidewalks and they do surveys from time to time and they decide where there's going to be the crosswalks," said Robinson.
(Source: ABC News)

So.. What's the deal? Well, here is what he helpfully painted...since doing just 3/4's of a proper job seemed just fine by Government Standards (Caltrans in this case).


(Capture from ABC Story)

.....Looks reasonable, doesn't it? Nothing offensive...although far from the perfect lines and crisp edges of a professional, I'd sure appreciate it as a local resident. The Police and Caltrans say this was totally uneeded and a waste they had to spend good money removing so it could be restored to it's incomplete self. Lets have a look at what Caltrans says is a job well done, in THEIR view, shall we?



It took a bit of hunting, but I found a story with the intersection address and that is Google Earth with an overhead. Notice anything Missing?? If you zoom out a bit, you also find the part missing happens to be the side where more people live and work than the opposite side. So, it's fine for Caltrans to require people to either play Pedestrian Polo or make THREE street crossings to literally cross ONE street as the alternative.

I'd also note here that however imperfect the resident's painting was? Whomever Caltrans hired needs to take some lessons in painting themselves. Lining up corners to lines seems a shortcoming, if not outright impossibility for their own crews.

Heck, they should have thanked the man, not charged him with a felony crime.


(For anyone interested, the coordinates are 38° 6'42.89"N by 122°15'16.84"W for the center of the offending intersection)




posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 12:11 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


I can't tell you how many times I've almost been hit by automobiles in urban California--with or without a crosswalk! It's a shame that somebody who takes common sense initiative should be punished like this. It looks pretty professional in my opinion (I was clicking that photo over and over trying to start the vid
)

This is what happens when bureaucracy rules over wisdom. (But please don't mention the wisdom of trying to click a photo to start a video.)

I think they need to drop the vandalism charge and at least acknowledge that he was trying to be a good Samaritan.
edit on 2-6-2013 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 12:14 PM
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Didn't have authorization to do so, should have thought it through. Must suffer consequences.

And cross-walks really don't do anything but give the illusion of safety.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 12:22 PM
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Lol, I'm a little torn on this one I see your point, but he should have called his local representatives, and made his complaints if that didn't work local news, and papers.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 12:28 PM
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If I were the DA, I would drop all charges.

If I was a jury, I would find him not guilty.

I think a simple fine would have been sufficient.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 12:35 PM
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I'm curious how he accomplished this without cars and trucks tracking fresh paint everywhere.

Seemingly; two deaths have to occur at an intersection before stop signs are implemented?

field test

goose/gander



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 12:38 PM
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What if people were allowed to paint whatever they wanted on the streets?

I mean in this specific example, it's pretty benign. But you have to take into account the intent of the law.
Painting dashes in between dashes that are already there would cause much confusion, and in that case i'd say a felony charge is reasonable. That's just one example. What about adding a turn lane where there isn't one?
These are things that could lead to car accidents, and therefore deaths. Specifically what felony charges should be saved for.


edit on 2-6-2013 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 12:50 PM
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I think I might build a toll road on the street in front of my house. I can build a little building with a bucket so people can throw change in and I will lift the gate for them. I will pay a tax on the money I make. Sounds reasonable right. I will make it look all professional when I build it and paint the lines.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 12:54 PM
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Well it was a mistake and he should not have done that period. I bet he was charged with vandalism and property damage from the State of California. If its over $1,000 dollars in public damages, yea it will be a felony.

I don't see how he completed the crosswalk without any authority stopping him in the process.

Caltrans sometimes.....i don't even wanna talk about them right now.

edit on 2-6-2013 by sylent6 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by loveguy
I'm curious how he accomplished this without cars and trucks tracking fresh paint everywhere.

Seemingly; two deaths have to occur at an intersection before stop signs are implemented?

field test

goose/gander


I'd seen that in another story on this (Most stories copied each other, word for word, but a few had new stuff).


Apparently a neighbor spotted Cardenas out in the street painting the lines at 5 a.m. a couple weeks back. According to the Solano County Sheriff's department, city workers also spotted Cardenas improving the neighborhood's walkability rating/committing vandalism and called the cops, who booked him on suspicion of felony vandalism.
Source

In digging for that quote again, I also came across what may have really pissed off Caltrans on this. The OP picture shows the crosswalk he painted with the diagonal lines (Well, they're meant to be, anyway) which is generally a universal sign to SLOW DOWN. It's something I wouldn't mind on my street, come to think of it, but I digress.

Apparently, he took it upon himself to paint the diagonal white lines across the other 3 state crosswalks as well. Err.. Maybe that was taking it just one step too far. Trying to make his neighborhood safer is something I can understand and I've damn near done a similar thing on my own street, as noted above. However, he might have been a little too energetic in 'correcting' the existing ones for the crappy job they'd already done with them. No one likes being corrected...even a state agency. lol...

The note in a couple stories about how they literally stationed a Police Explorer (A guy in the pre-police training program, basically) was a little over the top though. He was assigned to "guard" the illegal cross walk so no one dared actually USE what the guy made. Well.....I'm not sure how crossing there was ever illegal to begin with, so why using his wouldn't be proper is beyond me.....but then, Government is Government and this is Vallejo of all places.
edit on 2-6-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by terriblyvexed
Lol, I'm a little torn on this one I see your point, but he should have called his local representatives, and made his complaints if that didn't work local news, and papers.


I agree. People don't need to be vigilante cross-walk painters!


He could have petitioned his city and handled it differently. Having said that, in NO WAY should this be a felony charge! That is asinine.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 01:23 PM
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All the people he victimized should string him up.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by jam321
If I were the DA, I would drop all charges.

If I was a jury, I would find him not guilty.

I think a simple fine would have been sufficient.


I think they should just warn him, nothing more.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 01:43 PM
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You pay taxes and then when you make a phone call to city hall and complain there needs to be a crosswalk at a nearby intersection, they just ignore you. The only time government acts is when someone seriously gets hurt or dies. They would rather spend our money on frivolous projects rather than projects that are an immediate benefit to taxpayers.

When we moved to our neighborhood, we noticed two intersections that had no stop signs. Motorists always took for granted they had the right of way. It was an accident waiting to happen. Other neighbors said they called city hall, but their requests were never answered. We called city hall but our requests were also ignored. It took 6 years and an accident before someone with any common sense in city hall took notice.

You're not talking hundreds of dollars to install a stop sign or paint a crosswalk.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by seabag
 


Well you have to look at the cost of clean up, repainting the blacktop, and the time and effort. Depending on the courts this cause can be a "wobbler" which can be a felony or misdemeanor. So he could be arrested and charge with a felony but its up to the courts to drop it as a misdemeanor if this is his first offense.




594. (a) Every person who maliciously commits any of the following acts with respect to any real or personal property not his or her own, in cases other than those specified by state law, is guilty of vandalism: (1) Defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material. (2) Damages. (3) Destroys. Whenever a person violates this subdivision with respect to real property, vehicles, signs, fixtures, furnishings, or property belonging to any public entity, as defined by Section 811.2 of the Government Code, or the federal government, it shall be a permissive inference that the person neither owned the property nor had the permission of the owner to deface, damage, or destroy the property. (b) (1) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is four hundred dollars ($400) or more, vandalism is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 or in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or if the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, by a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.





The penalties for California vandalism charges generally depend on the dollar value of the property damage that was done. If the damage is worth four hundred dollars ($400) or more, vandalism is a wobbler . The penalties for vandalism in this case may include a jail sentence of between one (1) and three (3) years...and/or a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or even more if the damage is very extensive.3 And if the damage is worth less than four hundred dollars ($400), vandalism is still punishable by misdemeanor penalties of up to one (1) year in county jail, and/or a maximum one thousand dollar ($1,000) fine.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 01:59 PM
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reply to post by hamburgerler
 


The way California is, it is a money-hungry, greedy, so-called broke state. They will fine him to the "T" to get every last drop of dimes and nickles.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by sylent6
 



Well you have to look at the cost of clean up, repainting the blacktop, and the time and effort. Depending on the courts this cause can be a "wobbler" which can be a felony or misdemeanor. So he could be arrested and charge with a felony but its up to the courts to drop it as a misdemeanor if this is his first offense.


It was a dumb stunt for sure. He should be ticketed and forced to either pay for cleanup or clean it up himself. Anything more would be nuts. This wasn't a malicious act.

As the saying goes - No good deed goes unpunished!



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 02:04 PM
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Originally posted by sylent6
reply to post by hamburgerler
 


The way California is, it is a money-hungry, greedy, so-called broke state. They will fine him to the "T" to get every last drop of dimes and nickles.


They shouldn't, it's too bad.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 02:48 PM
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New Jersey... Hand over the "Armpit of America" trophy. It now belongs to California.



posted on Jun, 2 2013 @ 06:26 PM
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Most similar intersections in my local area are they same.
Three crossings make for a perfectly acceptable and safe way for pedestrian crossings. Boo-Hoo, the guy had to use a couple of extra crossings to cross the road!?
He has possibly made the intersection more dangerous actually by making vehicles stop a couple of meters further back from the lights/intersection which restricts line of sight to drivers making turns.
I say book him (gently) and get him to clean it up as punishment (which is what I believe vandals should serve as a primary means of repaying society)!

edit on 2-6-2013 by Qumulys because: (no reason given)



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