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Council to consider street lights, utility billing schedules
street lights
Traffic signals along Geer Road were among those studied in an effort to analyze the efficiency of current conditions versus installing a coordinated signal system. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

“This light is taking forever to change!” The previous exclamation could be attributed to many a Turlock traveler as the length of time it takes traffic signals to change on major roadways in the city is a common complaint (after the poor conditions of the roadway itself). The Turlock City Council will hear a presentation on Tuesday by a traffic engineering firm on just how inefficient three main corridors are operating at present.

Currently, the City of Turlock has approximately 80 traffic signals in operation. Most of the signals are activated through vehicle detection, however, there is no coordinated communication between traffic signals so drivers on heavily traveled corridors may experience a series of red lights that are both frustrating and contribute to poor air quality.

The City received $51,000 in funding in 2016 under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program to develop coordinated traffic signal timing plans for three primary corridors: Monte Vista Avenue between N. Tegner Road and Golden State Boulevard, Golden State Boulevard between Olive and East avenues and Geer Road between Monte Vista and Hawkeye avenues.

The City contracted Omnimeans Ltd. of Roseville to analyze the traffic signals on the three corridors and provide coordinated signal timing plans for each affected intersection. The study found that coordination is projected to improve the overall level of service of all three corridors. The average arterial speed within the three corridors increases by an average of 31 percent between current conditions and when coordination is added.

If the Council accepts the report, City staff will then seek grant funding for the acquisition and installation of traffic signal controllers.

On Tuesday, the City Council is also expected to:

  • Consider transitioning billing for the City’s 19,000 utility customers from at the same time every month to quadrant-based billing, whereby bills will be mailed out over four billing cycles per month, based on a customer’s address;
  • Consider increasing the purchasing power of the City Manager, giving them the authority to enter into contracts up to $25,000 without Council approval;
  • Consider approving the submission of three transit claims with the Stanislaus Council of Governments, a budget amendment for transit-related expenses for Fiscal Year 2018-19 and the hiring of staff members to support security and maintenance of the Roger K. Fall Transit Center;
  • Accept a report on the condition of the Scandinavian Village Wooden Statue and the Energy Burst and provide direction to staff on the future management of artwork;
  • Consider awarding a contract to Confluence Engineering Group, LLC for design services for a Surface Water/Groundwater Integration Study in an amount not to exceed $357,856;
  • Consider extending a contract with the City of Turlock and Townsend Public Affairs for lobbying services in an amount not to exceed $5,000 a month and $60,000 a year.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway, Turlock.