Sentinel staff report–
The City of Citrus Heights has launched a new online survey and will host an upcoming open-house meeting on Feb. 20 to gain input from residents on various intersection upgrades and a new barrier fence to be installed in median areas near the intersection of Greenback Lane and Auburn Boulevard, designed to keep pedestrians from running across the street.
The short online survey asks input on five questions about fencing aesthetics, like whether panels should be curved or straight, have flat or arched tops, and whether the fence should feature climbing plants. Survey takers are also asked whether the fence should be painted or remain unpainted with a rusty look, similar to the existing barrier fence on Greenback Lane near Birdcage Street.
Visual examples of each design style are included in the survey, and respondents are also given space to include additional comments. The survey can be taken online through Feb. 28, with responses slated to be tabulated in March.
Take the survey online: click here.
In 2017, the City Council approved the barrier fencing along several intersection improvements, using funding from a $486,000 Highway Safety Improvement Project grant and Measure A transportation funds. The project includes the installation of count-down pedestrian signal signs at 11 traffic signals in Citrus Heights, along with the installation of 29 larger traffic signal lights at various intersections to improve visibility for drivers, according to the city’s website.
Upgrades at the intersections of Macy Plaza and Birdcage Center on Sunrise Boulevard near Sunrise Mall will also be installed, including widening of crosswalks and installing accessible curb ramps.
Details about the project will be presented at an upcoming open house event hosted by the city at the Citrus Heights Community Center from 5:30-7 p.m. Questions and input on the project will be heard during the event, and short presentations are scheduled for 5:45 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
See flier: Open house invite
In 2010, a barrier fence was installed along another section of Greenback Lane between Birdcage Street and Mariposa Avenue, which police say has proved to be effective in reducing pedestrian-related accidents — although some have criticized the aesthetics of the fence.
As previously reported on The Sentinel, Councilman Bret Daniels has called the existing fence on Greenback “ugly,” due to its rusty-brown appearance. He said he is supportive of the new fence at Greenback and Auburn, “as long as they don’t put up an ugly fence like the one [near Birdcage].”
Lt. David Gutierrez said the 2010 fencing was installed along with a new crosswalk due to a high amount of foot-traffic traveling between apartments on the north side of Greenback Lane and “a couple of liquor stores” on the other side of the road. He said the fencing has been useful in getting pedestrians to use the crosswalk.
In a 2017 interview, Gutierrez said a total of nine pedestrians had been hit by vehicles within 500 feet of the intersection of Greenback Lane and Auburn Boulevard in the past 10 years, with three of those occurring in 2016. He said the police department had worked on the new barrier fence recommendation in a collaborative effort with other divisions at city hall, as part of a proactive approach to engineering improvements in the city.
Construction is anticipated to begin in late summer of this year, according to the latest update from the city.
Want to share your thoughts on barrier fencing and jaywalking in Citrus Heights? Click here to submit a letter to the editor.