Residents of the Stonebridge housing development have long been lobbying the Lathrop City Council for some sort of traffic calming measure to make access safer for residents and parents trying to get to nearby Joseph Widmer Elementary School.
And this week, a new three-way traffic signal was brought online at Harlan Road and Stonebridge Lane – the first of three new signals that have been installed in the last month, each of which will cater to unique circumstances that prompted the council and city staff to act on the longstanding requests.
The Stonebridge signal, which will also work to slow down traffic along Harlan Road, which many residents complain has become a raceway for vehicles passing between Louise Avenue and Lathrop Road to bypass the I-5 corridor, was paid for with Measure C funds – collected as part of a one-cent sales tax increase approved by voters in 2012 to give the council flexibility in funding programs and projects that benefit the city as a whole.
For Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal, who has long heard complaints from Stonebridge residents that turning out of the subdivision and onto Harlan Road can be akin to taking one’s own life into their hands, the news that the signal was energized and operational was welcome news.
“It will definitely improve safety for the residents and the parents of the students who travel through there every day,” Dhaliwal said. “And when you consider the stop sign that is going to be installed at Slate Road just up Harlan, this will be another tool for slowing down traffic that speeds between Louise and Lathrop and makes conditions unsafe.”
The council approved the expenditure for the Stonebridge signal last year after the idea was introduced at meeting late in 2016, but city staff had to order the poles and the lighting fixtures from the manufacturer – every signal is built custom according to the configuration of the intersection that it serves – and wait for them to arrive before installing them.
Dhaliwal said that the projects shows the dynamic benefits of Measure C, which not only pays for police officers and fire personnel, but also provides things that would otherwise have to come from the general fund – saving hundreds of thousands of dollars for other community projects and programs in the process.
“Measure C makes it easier to do the things that the community has been asking for, and as a council that means we can meet the needs of the community,” Dhaliwal said. “This will make Harlan Road much safer, and it’s something that we’ve been talking about for a very long time.”
And it won’t be the only new traffic signal that comes online this week.
As part of the Lathrop Road widening project the council approved the installation of a traffic signal at Cambridge Drive and Lathrop Road to help control the flow of traffic through the new four-lane section of the city’s main arterial thoroughfare. While the poles have been installed, staff is still waiting for the signal to be energized so that it can be calibrated and brought on-line as one of the last pieces of the massive overhaul.
A traffic signal at McKee Boulevard and Golden Valley Parkway has also been completed – paid for with community facility fee funds – and Dhaliwal said that he believes that signal and the one at Cambridge could come online as early as the end of the week.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.