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Ripon wants safer crossing by school
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River Road and Fulton Avenue in Ripon is the uncontrolled intersection connecting Mistlin Sports Park and Park View Elementary School. City officials are looking at ways to make this area safe for pedestrians. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

RIPON – The Ripon City Council hopes to make the intersection at River Road and Fulton Avenue safe for pedestrians.

Mistlin Sports Park, home to a flurry of activities including the Almond Blossom Festival and the Color the Sky Balloon Festival, is on one side of River Road, where the posted speed limit is 45 mph.

Park View Elementary – speed limit is 25 mph when students are present – is on the other side of River Road adjacent to the cockeyed intersection.

Councilman Garry Krebbs indicated Tuesday that the park and the school share a connection on a day-to-day basis. But for pedestrians, getting from one venue to the other poses safety concerns.

“It’s unsafe,” he said. “But people cross it every day.

“They cross it when there’s a special event – they do it consistently.”

 According to Kevin Werner, future plans call for this intersection to eventually even out once three more lanes are added. As it stands, he noted that River Road and Fulton Avenue are part of an “uncontrolled intersection,” meaning, no stop signs or stop lights.

Council voted 5-0 for Werner and his staff to pursue funding for available protective crossing at a future meeting.

“We will look at different options to bring safety to the intersection. We can also look if there’s a grant that might apply,” he said.

Council discussed the possibility of placing traffic signals or cross walks at the intersection.

“People drive pretty fast on (River) road,” Councilman Dean Uecker said. “A crosswalk might add a false sense of security.”

Police Chief Ed Ormonde has clocked motorists traveling between 35 to 50 mph down that stretch while noting the high volume of traffic. But, thus far, there’s been no accidents involving pedestrians to his knowledge.

A day earlier, Ormonde and Werner investigated the intersection, pointing to the road curvature on the eastside of River Road at Mistlin Park as another potential hazardous blind spot.

“We’ve got to do something,” Councilman Charlie Gay said. “We got to have safety measures in place.”

Krebbs agreed.

“There’s no price for the life of a child,” he said.