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Commuters avoiding 120 congestion in July led to more Ripon speeding, stop sign tickets
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The weekday commuter traffic seeking to avoid taking the deadly 120 Bypass section through Manteca between Union Road and the Highway 99 interchange continues to be a problem in Ripon.

Police Chief Ed Ormonde noted at last week’s Ripon City Council meeting that “some days are better than others.”

The results of that are the increased citations.

“The targeted traffic enforcements last month surpassed last year’s number of violations for stop signs and traffic stops,” Ormonde said.

He added that most of the complaints on this matter have occurred on West Ripon Road during peak travel times.

The city streets were not designed for commute traffic.

City research last spring noted 450 to 500 cars enter town via West Ripon Road during the afternoon and evening commute hours. A traffic count was taken from May 21 through May 25 along West Ripon Road (Main Street) at Reuss Road, just west of Jack Tone Road when there was no major accident on the 120 Bypass

During the four-day span, 32,059 cars were recorded going into town. Of that, 27,192 were seen leaving town.

Traffic often backs up along Second Street and the South Stockton Avenue intersection entering Main Street to the Highway 99 on-ramp.

Council members mentioned just that at a recent meeting, discussing the noticeable increased number of vehicles cutting through Ripon to avoid congestion that occurs on Highway 99 and Highway 120 Bypass during commute hours.

They’ve talked about various solutions, including adjusting the traffic signal at Jack Tone Road and Main Street to meter the traffic entering town – the hope is that traffic gets to the point where the capacity of the road network to the east is not exceeded.

Police, in July, issued 42 speeding tickets coupled with six for failing to halt at stop signs among the 56 citations of the past six months.

Staff is also looking into other possible traffic calming measures such as restricting the right turn movements for vehicles traveling east on West Ripon Road along both Ruess Road and South Highland Avenue; installing a landscape median on Main Street between Jack Tone Road and Wilma Avenue; and installing concrete bulbs at various intersections on Second Street between Wilma and Stockton avenues.

Outside of the increased traffic violations, Ormonde reported a large reduction in larceny and theft in his “Year to Date, Part I Crimes” report.

“We’re down 23 percent,” he said.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail