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Durham-Pentz roundabout causing drivers concern

Some people feel that move to help the flow of traffic is actually creating a dangerous situation.

Posted: Jun 26, 2019 2:35 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2019 11:18 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif.- Some drivers say a new roundabout on Durham-Pentz & Clark Road in Butte County has created a dangerous situation.

”Everyday there’s almost always an accident and it’s the same thing – people going as fast as they possibly can and not following what they’re supposed to do,” said the store manager at the Clear Creek Crossing gas station market.

He says in 13 years, he’d only seen one car accident at the intersection.

But in February, Caltrans replaced the 4-way stop with a roundabout to keep Camp Fire debris trucks moving. Since then, he’s seen at least 6 crashes.

CHP says there have been 7 at that intersection this year so far.

“The way I see people drive, it doesn’t surprise me too much… people driving too fast, not yielding to other people... trucks, cars, but mainly trucks,” said the manager.

“Nobody knows who’s turn it is, everybody hesitates, it’s a lot slower,” said George, who works nearby.

Caltrans said this is a temporary fix to stop the problem of traffic backing up in all directions.

Some people say it’s working.

“Do you remember what it was like in the weeks before they installed this and everybody was just stopping here? I asked.

“Miserable. A lot of traffic back up, people upset, not taking the right turns because a lot of people get impatient,” said debris hauler Kane Menth of Gridley.

“Sometimes you do get some drivers that get impatient and it’s hard to get an opening, but that’s life, most of the time you can just roll right on through,” said nearby rancher Norm Witt.

But for now?

“You’ve just got to be careful, courteous and have a loving heart, that’s it,” said one woman who lives nearby.

Caltrans says they’re planning to install flashing radar speed detectors and rumble strips to slow people down – look for those in the next couple of weeks. 

Caltrans says the roundabout is temporary. They plan to re-install the 4-way stop once debris-clearing is complete.

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