Unusual street signs in Hayward aim to make drivers slow down

HAYWARD, Calif. (KTVU) -- Officials in Hayward are taking a new, unconventional strategy to try to curb speed and improve safety along a busy road with the quirky new street signs installed along Hayward Boulevard.

One says, "35. It's a speed limit. Not a suggestion." Another reads, "Heads up. Cross the street, then update Facebook."

The signage went up about two weeks ago as part of a pilot program in the city of Hayward.

"I was really excited because someone is really creative and thinking outside the box," said Susannah Grier, of Vallejo, who takes classes at California State University East Bay.

City spokesman Frank Holland said most drivers don't pay much attention to street signs, so "any response – positive or negative – is a victory."

"We want people to do a double take, to pay attention," said Holland.

So far, the campaign has been met with mixed reaction.

"I think they're creative but as a driver, if you drive by you can't really see them. You just see that the signs look a little bigger," said Dustin Yee, a Hayward resident. "I don't think they're going to work."

"It's pretty modern," said Betsy Lam, a San Leandro resident. "It fits in with the time."

"I think they're great. I think humor is always a step in the right direction," said Grier.

"I just thought it was really sarcastic. I didn't think it was really appropriate," said Natalie Montano, a Hayward resident.

Police said speeding is a problem along this stretch of Hayward Boulevard, between Farm Hill Drive and Carlos Bee Boulevard, where there are numerous neighborhoods, apartments and schools.

"The people need to be aware and mindful of both vehicles and pedestrians in the roadway," said Sgt. Jason Corsolini, of the Hayward Police Department's Traffic Bureau.

He said it's not unusual to see cars traveling in excess of 50 mph. The posted speed limit along most of that stretch of Hayward Boulevard is 35 mph.

Holland said each sign cost the city about $200, and seven signs in all have been installed. He said the city plans to assess how well the pilot program is working in a few weeks, and then make decisions on the future of the program.

"If they like them, great. That means they got the message. If they don't like them, if they think they're silly, that's just as well because that means they paid attention. They got the message just the same," said Holland.