Tag Archives: west sacramento news

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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Fire inspector named West Sac’s employee of the year

LEFT TO RIGHT: City Manager Martin Tuttle, Council Member Bill Kristoff, Fire Inspector Bryan Jonson, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, Council Member Beverly Sandeen, and Mayor Pro Tem Mark Johannessen. (Courtesy of City of West Sacramento/Art Schroeder)

LEFT TO RIGHT: City Manager Martin Tuttle, Council Member Bill Kristoff, Fire Inspector Bryan Jonson, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, Council Member Beverly Sandeen, and Mayor Pro Tem Mark Johannessen. (Courtesy of City of West Sacramento/Art Schroeder)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 23, 2014 —

At the annual Employee Recognition Ceremony, April 16, Mayor Christopher Cabaldon announced the selection of Senior Fire Inspector Bryan Jonson as the 2014 “Employee of the Year.”

Jonson’s honor reflects his work with the Community Emergency Response Team, inspections, hazardous materials response, fireworks event permits, and weed abatement. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fire administration.

During the same program, the City Council also recognized the Port Business Plan Team as the year’s “Team of the Year” and the Redevelopment Dissolution Team as the year’s “Exceptional Team.”

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Caltrans agrees to reimburse West Sac up to $750,000 for ‘Fix 50’

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 23, 2014 —

Caltrans has tentatively agreed to reimburse West Sacramento for up to about $750,000 in costs related to the “Fix 50” freeway construction project that started yesterday in Sacramento. The city had requested $947,000.

The West Sacramento City Council approved the arrangement last week.

As the lane-closing freeway project kicked off yesterday, West Sacramento was expecting impacts on local streets as drivers tried to get around a congested stretch of eastbound U.S. 50 in Sacramento. City staff anticipated spending about $243,000 in additional police staffing and expenses, $167,000 in fire department staffing and costs and $271,000 in public works.

Plans call for police personnel to take over manual control of ten local intersections during commute hours and for extra staffing to help guide police and fire response. The city also plans to post “changeable message signs” with traffic alerts and to install additional traffic video cameras throughout the city (see www.cityofwestsacramento.org for a look at the live local traffic feed).

Some of the mitigation measures will be reassessed as the Fix 50 project develops, and commuters respond with new driving patterns.

A city staff report said that the revised “Fix 50” plan will close fewer lanes at a time, but the early eastbound phase “is still seen to have a major impact upon traffic congestion in West Sacramento.”

“Traffic on local arterials including Jefferson Boulevard, West Capitol Avenue, Sacramento Avenue, Lake Washington Boulevard, Industrial Boulevard, Harbor Boulevard and Enterprise Boulevard will still increase due to cut-through traffic during construction,” said the report signed by public works director Denix Anbiah. “The ability to move public safety apparatus through the city. . . has improved but will likely still be reduced.”

Unforeseen emergencies – such as a hazardous spill or downed power line – could “magnify by many times” any traffic congestion problems, said the report.

City Manager Martin Tuttle has the power to declare a “state of emergency” in such an event, while the city council organizes any needed emergency meeting.

 

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

 

Books wanted for high school library

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The library at River City High School could use your help stocking the shelves with books – particularly biographies.

If you have an extra copy of a book about such persons as Barack or Michele Obama, current sports or popular culture icons, people from the tech world such as Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, or historical figures such as Malcom X, Caesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, etc., you can help. Call 375-7800, ext. 2321.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014