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Ripon Police will keep close tabs on Main & Jack Tone
red light camera system

The Ripon Police Department will continue to keep close tabs on the intersection of Main Street and Jack Tone Road during commute hours.

That’s after City Council took the police recommendation Tuesday to not go forward at this time with the Redflex Traffic Enforcement System.

“We’ve seen significant changes since Thanksgiving,” said Police Chief Ed Ormonde.

Included were fewer red-light violators .

 “We still have them but not like before,” Ormonde noted – due to less traffic at this intersection during the peak commute hours of 4 p.m. through 6 p.m.

The chief said that coupled with changes to Redflex’s initial contractual requirements has made the camera system less conducive.

“Rather than one camera and three-year contractual requirements, (RedFlex) upped it to three years, three cameras – that makes it triple the cost, which is unacceptable,” Ormonde said.

In his report, he pointed out that the increased cut-through traffic through town was influenced by a variety of factors, including more people in the area making that daily trip to the Bay Area for work, in turn, causing freeway traffic congestion along the Highway 120 Bypass and Highway 99.

The rise of e-commerce development within the nearby cities resulted in more trucks on the road.

In addition, he noted that more and more motorists have been relying on navigation apps for alternative routes to get around the jammed-up freeways.

“Currently, there are several local and regional projects that are happening to reduce the congestion on our street caused by the cut-through commute traffic,” Ormonde reported. “The City of Ripon has moved forward with a project to adjust the timing of traffic signals along West Main Street to reduce the impact of cut-through traffic congestion and better accommodate changing traffic patterns.”

In November, the City began metering traffic at the Main Street-Jack Tone Road intersection, with police seeing a significant number of red-light violators and dedicating one patrol officer to the area.

Before that, police had believed that the RedFlex system might be the way to go.

But then the department began to see a dramatic shift in traffic pattern during the course of the past three months, resulting in less traffic at the intersection during the peak commute hours while resulting in fewer red light violations.