Tag Archives: traffic

Feds & state again fund West Sacramento DUI checkpoint program

NEWS-LEDGER — JAN 7, 2015

West Sacramento’s police department announced last month that it will receive renewed funding for DUI checkpoints and other traffic enforcement.

The department has been awarded a $ 91,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long program of special enforcements and public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries, it reported.   West Sacramento Police Department will use the funding as part of the city’s ongoing commitment to keep our roadways safe and improve the quality of life through both enforcement and education.

“After falling dramatically between 2006 and 2010, the number of persons killed and injured in traffic collisions saw slight increases in 2011 and 2012,” said the W.S.P.D. statement. “Particularly worrisome are recent increases in pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities and the dangers of distracting technologies. This grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these and other devastating problems such as drunk and drugged driving and speeding.”

“California’s roadways are still among the safest in the nation,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft in a press statement.  “But to meet future mobility, safety, and sustainability objectives, we must create safer roadways for all users.  The West Sacramento Police Department will be using these and other resources to reach the vision we all share – Toward zero deaths, every 1 counts.”

Activities that the grant will fund include:
•    DUI checkpoints
•    DUI saturation patrols
•    Motorcycle safety enforcement
•    Distracted driving enforcement
•    Seat belt and child safety seat enforcement
•    Speed, red light, and stop sign enforcement
•    Warrant service operations targeting multiple DUI offenders
•    Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets,” identifying worst-of-the-worst DUI offenders
•    Specialized DUI and drugged driving training such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST), Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE), and Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE)

Funding for this program is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Copyright News-Ledger 2015

New bridge to Southport set to open on December 5

The new bridge is sited off to the right in this modified City map. It will cross the barge canal from South River Road from the north. Eventually, it will connect with Village Parkway. Construction may start on that extension sometime after mid-summer of next year.

The new bridge is sited off to the right in this modified City map. It will cross the barge canal from South River Road from the north.
Eventually, it will connect with Village Parkway. Construction may start on that extension sometime after mid-summer of next year.

NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 12, 2014 —

West Sacramento officials have set the date for a ribbon-cutting of the new Mike McGowan Bridge:

December 5, at 10 a.m.

The bridge will add an alternative connection across the barge canal, particularly for Southport residents used to using the Stone Lock Bridge on Jefferson Boulevard.

Initially, the bridge will connect South River Road from near the freeway to the Marina Greens Drive area in Southport. A later project will build a direct connection to Village Parkway.

Construction crews working under contractor C.C. Myers, Inc., were at work on the surface of the Mike McGowan Bridge last Tuesday. (News-Ledger photo)
Construction crews working under contractor C.C. Myers, Inc., were at work on the surface of the Mike McGowan Bridge last Tuesday. (News-Ledger photo)

The bridge is 615 feet long and about 80 feet wide. It will have room for a 12-foot lane each direction, bike lanes, a median, and separated walkways (with room for another striped lane later. It will feature half-circle pedestrian overlooks and a gold steel hand-railing.

It’s named after former mayor Mike McGowan.

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West Sac residents take a look at city’s long-term ‘general plan’

At a public workshop Monday evening, Mayor Cabaldon asked West Sacramento residents to ask what they wanted their city to look like in the future.  The city is updating its long-term ‘general plan,’ which has a 20-year horizon. (News-Ledger photo)

At a public workshop Monday evening, Mayor Cabaldon asked West Sacramento residents to ask what they wanted their city to look like in the future. The city is updating its long-term ‘general plan,’ which has a 20-year horizon.
(News-Ledger photo)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 30, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

About 75 citizens attended a meeting Monday evening to provide input on the West Sacramento’s long-range “general plan,” and to make comments four specific planning projects. Hosted by the city’s planning department, the workshop took place in the community center on West Capitol Avenue.

Several residents asked questions and showed concern about new growth bringing about more traffic problems, and about the city’s level of protection from floods.

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon attended briefly.

“The general plan, as you’ll hear, is one of the most important plans we have in the city,” Cabaldon told the crowd. “It is a long-term plan. It goes to 2035 – but that doesn’t mean nothing is going to happen until July of 2034.”

He asked participants at the workshop to envision the city they want.

“What do you want this place to be like, in value-based terms?,” Cabaldon asked. “What do you want your neighborhoods to be like?”

The mayor himself said the future city ought not to be “all residential suburbs” or “just rural, with horses,” but ought to be combined of different elements, including housing opportunities for the different stages of life.

West Sacramento’s city manager for the past two years is Martin Tuttle, a former executive with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG). Tuttle talked to the crowd about the “Blueprint,” a six-county regional guide to future development.

The Blueprint aims to promote transit-oriented development, encouraging compact growth near transportation options and attempting to avoid sprawl into farmlands.

“This community has incredible assets,” said Tuttle of West Sacramento, including “the port area, the riverfront and the emerging downtown area. . . You really are seeing more compact development, more development near transit. When we started ‘Blueprint,’ Sacramento was on its way to 35 miles per day of driving per person. Now it’s around 21 miles.”

David Tilley, the city’s senior planner, explained that the general plan contains a number of distinct elements – most mandated by the state. The plan includes a “preferred land use alternative,” a climate change plan and other elements.

“Our general plan will keep the child care element (in) and also have a ‘healthy communities’ element,” reported Tilley. Cities are required to create a general plan and update it periodically.

He introduced the four specific project areas being shown off at the workshop, inviting residents to look at drawings, chat with staff and leave comments, which staff would try to tabulate afterward.

The “Stone Lock District,” he said, surrounds the barge canal near Jefferson Boulevard, and includes the bluffs known as “Honda Hills” often used by motorcyclists.

“This is roughly 210 acres,” said Tilley. “It could be ripe for a master plan of some sort.”

An earlier plan to jointly develop Stone Lock with the Cordish Company expired during the economic downturn.

“Seaway” includes about 300 acres west of Lowe’s, on Port of West Sacramento property along Southport Parkway. It has been zoned for industrial and business park uses.

“It’s on the table,” Tilley said. “We want to hear what you think is best for the community.”

The “Liberty Specific Plan” is the only one of the four projects with a working developer on board. The acreage is east of the Clarksburg Trail in Southport, between Linden Road to the north and Davis Road to the south. It could hold up to 1,900 residential units.

“This is the last major piece in Southport that’s unentitled,” said Tilley.

Lastly mentioned was “Pioneer Bluffs.”

“This is the area along South River Road south of 15th Street, going down to where it presently dead-ends.”

This stretch is home to “legacy uses,” said Tilley, including the city’s old wastewater treatment plant and industrial uses including petroleum “tank farms.”

“It’s been long-planned to transition to mixed-use, but the question is how do we do that,” said Tilley. “It’s likely to be served by not one, but two new bridges: the South River Road Bridge, and another, perhaps in the area of 15th Street, crossing from Sacramento.”

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Not quite ‘Carmageddon’: motorists apparently adjust commutes for ‘Fix 50’

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 30, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

West Sacramento officials have relaxed a bit since last week, when the beginning of the “Fix 50” freeway project threatened to jam up local streets.

“The traffic is running smoothly and its going great,” reported Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the West Sacramento Police Department. He credited motorists for “varying their routes and changing their commute times,” and asked them to “continue doing what you’re doing.”

When CalTrans launched the project – initially closing all but one lane of eastbound U.S. 50 near downtown Sacramento – the city was ready for manual control of backed-up local intersections.

“We had 12 traffic people assigned to key locations where we thought it might back up,” said Sockman. “When it got to the point where traffic would back up, we put flashing red lights at the intersection and took over manual control.”

That happened, for example, at a congested Park Boulevard/Jefferson Boulevard intersection, where much of West Sacramento gets on the freeway to go to work in the morning.

The first day saw five intersections under traffic control during morning hours, when motorists tend to head east into Sacramento to their jobs. CalTrans quickly reopened one more lane on 50. On the second day, only three local intersections were being directed by hand, and on the third day, none.

The city also brought in a “command post” – a mobile operations center still parked next to city hall.

“It’s got computers, monitors and a radio for dispatch,” said Sockman. “We have a representative from police, fire, public works and AMR (the local ambulance company). We also have a direct line to Sacramento dispatch.”

The command post could watch traffic on city streets and help direct emergency vehicles to the best paths through them.

“For example, on the first day, there was a guy who needed to get the hospital from near West Capitol Avenue and Harbor Boulevard,” said Sockman. “The cameras were able to help get (the ambulance) the best route.”

Motorists still need to think twice about going eastbound on 50 from Sacramento. It’s still a problem, especially during the commute hours. But worries that West Sac streets would be deluged with motorists on freeway detours have not fully been born out.

The command post is now idle, pending any new traffic emergencies.

Starting May 27, CalTrans is scheduled to switch its roadwork to the westbound side of U.S. 50, and that’s expected to have less effect on West Sacramento, since this city will be on the “outfeed” side of any bottleneck. But Sockman said the command post will be re-staffed and ready for action again, just in case.

CalTrans has agreed to reimburse the city up to $750,000 for extra staffing and other impacts of the project.

The entire freeway project is scheduled to finish on June 25. For more information on the highway repair project, visit www.fix50.com. The City has traffic cameras on its website, www.cityofwestsacramento.org.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014