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New stoplights to up safety on Highway 32 in Chico

$1.2 million dollars later, Caltrans activated the lights Tuesday morning. But it took some supervision to help the public recognize the upgrade.

Posted: Dec 5, 2017 4:20 PM
Updated: Dec 5, 2017 4:26 PM

"Cars speed past me a lot, they get pretty close," said Christian Schlagel. "It's not easy to avoid cars,it's always on my mind."

Chico State student Christian Schlagel has a seemingly ideal commute to class each day - just a short walk or ride down Ivy Street. Except the part where he has to cross a major highway.

"Someone did get hit right here, I saw it right after they cleaned it up,:" said Schlagel.

"On 9th and Ivy, the cars were crossing and the truck was like, rolling over, it was pretty serious," said Gabriel Soueid, who works at the ABC Market.

More than 1,100 vehicles travel up 9th street each day, a dangerous situation for the hundreds of pedestrians who walk up and down Ivy.

Well, Caltrans heard the public's cry for a change on Highway 32.

They collected data from 2009 through 2012 to learn of 8 major accidents at the two intersections. Then there's then more than 50 non-injuries and about 15 broadside collisions.

So, they got to work.

"We put up to date pedestrian ramps and bulbed-outs, so pedestrians can a little better when they enter the intersection," said Gilbert Mohtes-Chan, Caltrans Spokesperson.

$1.2 million dollars later, Caltrans activated the lights Tuesday morning. But it took some supervision to help the public recognize the upgrade.

"We had some people that weren't aware of it and ran the signal and pedestrians that ran the red light," said Mohtes-Chan.

It shouldn't slow traffic very much - the sensory loops go back 325 feet.

And those cameras? They're not for ticketing, they're there to turn the lights green when they register enough cars waiting.

"I'm so happy, because every week, we have some issues with the traffic," said Soueid.

"That's kind of the number one priority is infrastructure, so it's a good use of money," said Schlagel

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