Sometimes folks just cant figure out why the city or county is doing things a certain way.
Robert McCament of Modesto had an issue with a traffic light and pedestrian crossing on the west side of town. He said the stoplight at Robertson and Carpenter roads had never been turned on to run its full cycle. Instead, he said, its simply a red flashing light, and everyone runs it. Nobody stops and its dangerous, and no cops are out there ticketing anyone.
In a related question, he wants to know why pedestrians and bicyclists are restricted to the east side of the bridge on Carpenter between Robertson and Hatch roads.
The west side is closed off, so if youre walking, riding your bike or have a baby carriage, youre crammed over to the east side of the bridge. Thats dangerous, too, he added.
Jeff Barnes, Modestos traffic engineer, said the traffic light at Robertson and Carpenter had been on a regular cycle until the Carpenter Road bridge seismic retrofit project construction started. Then the signal was placed into flashing red operation.
He said the county is erecting a new signal just south of the intersection and bridge at Hatch Road.
Once that new signal is placed into service, the signal at Carpenter Road will be returned to normal operation, he said.
In fact, both signals were working properly on Tuesday morning, a day after Barnes looked into the problem. I have to think that Roberts question may have prompted the change.
As for his second concern, Vickey Dion, a civil engineer for Modesto, said the pedestrian crossing is a matter of safety.
Because Carpenter Road has not yet been widened to provide pedestrian access, the location of the required guardrails on the ends of the recently completed bridge retrofit project do not provide adequate room for pedestrians on the west side of the bridge, she said. Until Carpenter Road is widened to accommodate pedestrians, pedestrian access across the bridge will be limited to the east side only.
OK, so when will Carpenter Road be widened?
The project is identified in the citys Capital Facility Fee program, but there is currently no set timeline for the widening of Carpenter Road, Dion said.
So, dont hold your breath on that one.
Actually, although the pedestrian crossings look fine on the bridge itself, there doesnt seem to be a whole lot of room for pedestrians on the road on either side of Carpenter beyond the bridge. So be careful out there.
And send me your most questionable questions.
Send questions to Sue Nowicki at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to (209) 578-2207 or mail to P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352-5256.