Letters to the Editor
I stumbled on the article and news of the retirement of my friend Jan Keizer (“Dogpatch Ship Repair Company Sets Sail,” July issue). In the early 1970’s I worked for Keizer Associates, and for good old Henk. Henk, Jan and Ted Keizer were a great help for the fresh emigrant. Jan always had a good word, and was of help whenever needed. A sincere, honest and true friend when I and my family needed it most. We – the Keizer crew – served eagerly and with pride all of the ship companies calling wherever on the Pacific Coast, and anywhere on the Pacific Rim, for that matter. The longest trip for me as a Keizer service engineer was to Melbourne Australia.
In 1979 I moved to Texas and started my own business. The idea for it was ignited while I was with Keizer Associates; namely machinery vibration analysis. Throughout the years I remained in contact with Jan and his wife, and will always consider him my friend. I need to give him a call…thanks for reminding me.
In October I was returning from dinner with out of town guests on 18th Street, walking toward my residence on Pennsylvania Street. Suddenly, we heard the scream of tires and a loud crash. Looking up, we were horrified to see a car hurdling over the 18th Street Bridge over Interstate-280 to the pavement 40 or 50 feet below. Rushing to the scene, where a Muni bus had just passed the intersection with the off-ramp in question, we observed a car, upside down, with one of its occupants sprawled out on the concrete.
This is by no means the first or even the second or third time this sort of thing has happened. The damaged guard rail had not yet been repaired from the last incident of this sort. The California Department of Transportation apparently thought that some yellow tape and a couple of police barricades were a sufficient response to the latter.
Neighbors on the scene reported that numerous accidents like this one have occurred over the last decade. The exit ramp in question, the first out of downtown, is poorly marked, poorly lit, and easily mistaken for part of the roadway itself. In addition, this ramp contains a cloverleaf that empties high-speed traffic onto Pennsylvania with no warning to drivers to slow down where pedestrians walk dogs and try to visit the Pennsylvania Garden without getting run over.
Caltrans has been negligent in addressing the problems associated with this off-ramp. I suppose only public outcry will motivate them to take action. I urge readers to contact Caltrans and other related public entities to demand that appropriate actions be taken to safeguard the well-being of drivers and pedestrians in this area.
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