Can’t install stop sign, yank it without studying the potential impact, city says

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I agree with Niels Sundermeyer's letter [April 20] about this intersection and its impact on River and Water streets. What I don't understand is why there needs to be a special consultant and three months of study. Can't they just put up a stop sign and see what happens? There could probably be people monitoring the intersection at busy times for several days at one fraction of the cost. And we would get the stop sign sooner! Thank you, Anne Cawley, via email A: "It’s never as easy as we would like it to be," said Chris Schneiter, assistant public works director. "Adding a stop sign may not be adequate or advisable. What if we add it and then it doesn’t work? We take it out and create confusion -- and the potential for more accidents. That's not a safe alternative. Counting traffic at various times of the day and days of the week is required so that any solutions address the maximum number of existing traffic, bike and pedestrian conditions. That’s for the short term solution. Since we are looking at long term solutions, we must evaluate the projected future General Plan traffic. If there’s a list of volunteers that count traffic, let me know and we’ll start calling." Storm water mitigation public hearing Caltrans invites the public to comment on an upcoming storm water mitigation project on Highway 17 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 6 in the multipurpose room of Branciforte Junior High School, at 322 Poplar Ave., Santa Cruz. The state transportation agency proposes to stabilize the existing cut slopes on State Route 17 by constructing an anchored wire mesh system from the toe of the slope to about 10-feet beyond the top of the slope. Also, rock slope protection will be placed in locations between the mesh sections. Studies show this kind of project will not significantly impact the quality of the environment. The study can be found at the Santa Cruz County Library, 224 Church Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, at the Caltrans District 5 office in San Luis Obispo, as well as online at http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/projects/. Public comment on the project began last month. Comments can be sent no later than May 20 to Caltrans, 50 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo. Attn: Matt C. Fowler. Celebrating 25 years of Highway 17 Express METRO is celebrating 25 years of the Santa Cruz Highway 17 Express bus and 10 years of success for the route since METRO joined forces with four partner agencies -- the Valley Transportation Agency, Caltrans, AMTRAK, and Capital Corridor trains -- to run the line. The service was launched after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which curtailed commuters ability to get to and from San Jose from Santa Cruz. Since then, the line continues to grow in popularity as well as to become one of METRO's most cost effective and efficient services. To commemorate, METRO is throwing a party noon-1 p.m. Friday, May 9 at the Santa Cruz METRO Pacific Station, at 920 Pacific Ave.
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