Bee Investigator: Blinking lights signal a long process

08/17/2014 4:52 PM

08/17/2014 4:53 PM

Here’s something you might not know: Activating a traffic light takes more than just a flick of a switch.

Some drivers in Turlock had been wondering how long the new traffic light at Del’s Lane and Golden State Boulevard would be blinking red.

Workers installed the light earlier this year at the intersection, where the new transportation center is located. Buses leaving the center make the traffic in the area heavier. The signal was funded last year with nearly $400,000 in federal money.

After it was installed, the four-way traffic lights blinked red for a couple of weeks.

Steven Fremming, associate civil engineer for the city of Turlock, explained how it works:

“We are waiting on parts,” he said. The contractor responsible for the project had to get the parts to perform what in city parlance is a “field modification.”

Fremming said early last week that he expected the signals to be functioning normally by the end of the week, or early this week. But by Wednesday, the signal was working.

In other road-related questions:

What’s happening on E Street near City Hall in Waterford?

According to the monthly city newsletter, work has begun on bicycle and pedestrian path improvements. E Street is closed to through traffic from Welch Street to Yosemite Boulevard.

Anyone looking to get to City Hall can get there from E at Welch rather than E at Yosemite, officials said.

Construction is expected to be complete in October.

And finally:

Here’s a question we get every once in a while: How effective are DUI checkpoints? After all, drivers can see them coming from pretty far away and potentially avoid the lights and checks.

But according to the California Highway Patrol, “Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely.”

So perhaps seeing a DUI checkpoint will serve as a visual reminder for a driver who is driving sober not to drive the next time he or she has been drinking.

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