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The Curb Extension Family Moves to Livermore, CA

The Curb Extension Family is a rather large family. We consisted of extended and blended members, all age ranges. Unfortunately for us, we are all white and and as a result we are told we suffer from “White Privilege Syndrome”. Even though when the sun goes down, we look dark with only white stripes on our body. Anyway, we had lived in Florida for several generations. We began to see a lot of people from California, who were moving here to Florida. We began to listen to their complaints about traffic difficulties. We had been living with Street Plans at that time and had the opportunity to relocate in many areas. Many of our family had already relocated to New York City, Atlanta, Upstate NY, and Pittsburgh. One day, one of the Project managers came to one of our family meetings and suggested that we relocate to California. It seems as if a town named Livermore was in great need of our services.

Our family has been noted to be advocates of relievable cities, local and national planning, and design. We were interested in being used for topical smart growth, tactical urbanism, public space and complete streets with a active transportation. We took a family vote and decided to relocate. It was almost a family reunion all 247 of came and all of us decided. We chose Livermore, California. None of us had heard of this town at all. Upon investigation we discovered it was in wine country and had 2 super-secret labs there. The town seemed really nice, weather was similar to Florida but without the humidity and all of the bugs. We were happy to bring our helpfulness and beauty to this place. One day a group of workers came and got a truck load of us and planted us on East Avenue. It seems that they want to control the traffic flow better and protect the pedestrians and bicyclists. The first part of the project consists of 2 large schools and a church. It also turns out that this is the only thoroughfare from the west to the east for residential use. There is one other busy main street in town but it is not as residential as this road.

We, the entire 297 of us, were all separated and planted on various corners. We were thrilled about this opportunity to change and improve the traffic flow and citizenry. Suddenly we discovered that this wasn’t working exactly as the powers-that-be dreamed about. They planted some of us a little too far into the roadway, thus preventing larger vehicles (buses, trucks etc.) being to able to turn without going into the on coming traffic lane or, unfortunately, running over one of our family. Our lovely white covering was hit, rubbed, and abused almost daily. We were scuffed, dented, bent, we were demoralized. To top it off the pedestrians that we were supposed to protect moved off the sidewalk and into the road behind us. That wasn’t supposed to happen…stay on the sidewalk we thought, but no one was listening. Cars went around us and dangerously tried to get into the correct lane. Traffic was confused and we are depressed. Don’t the bicyclists know how to give signals, they weave in and out of the traffic, many just ignoring the basic rules of the roads. The school children wander into the street. Oh my goodness! This is worse than before if the original plan continues. More of my family will be in danger and it seems as if it does not improve the traffic flow at all and does nothing for the general temperament of the community living on this side of town. Apparently it was 2 lanes many years ago and now it is 4, much to the community’s relief. If phase 2 continues down East Avenue it will pass preschools, elementary schools, many churches, the recreation center and more.

Our family had an outdoor shouting meeting (only because we were attached to the road and could not gather) and it was decided that this type of restructuring and redesigning was not meant of this particular road. As it is now, members of our family don’t allow turning from the east into the Catholic Cemetery. They have to do illegal U-Turns in the middle of East Avenue. Is someone offending the Catholics on purpose? I think they are!

Our family is so upset and unhappy. We have come to the conclusion we should leave. Actually, we want to leave and thus make community much happier. Before changing things, trying to improve them, the city should re-think educating people on the rules of the road for bikes, scooters, electric bikes, cars, pedestrians, etc.


So many don’t give signals…..O dear, O dear. Do the bike riders know the rules of the road…..(if so why don’t they use them?) do they teach their children (apparently not).

Keep the children on the sidewalk not on the road behind us, we can’t protect them because we are not that firm. I hope for the health of the community and the health of our family, our little white barricades leave and return to Florida. It has been an interesting time, and we have enjoyed the lack of humidity, and bugs, but it is time for us to return to our home area.


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