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New stop signs may get green light

Stop signs could soon appear at several street corners south of West Main Street in downtown Grass Valley in an effort to improve traffic safety in the neighborhood.

The signs could slow down traffic and discourage non-residents from driving through the Nob Hill neighborhood, city officials say.



The Grass Valley City Council on Tuesday will consider the pros and cons of installing stop signs at the intersections of Walsh and Pleasant streets, and Neal and High streets.




In addition, the council could allow two-way traffic on Walsh Street between South Church and School streets.

Hardly anyone uses Walsh Street, city officials say. If the street allowed two-way traffic, more people would use Walsh and traffic would be redistributed throughout Nob Hill, they say.

Other measures could be considered at a later date, including additional stop signs, parking restrictions, traffic circles and converting two-way streets into one-way streets.

There are no easy answers, said Teresa Poston, a Neal Street resident who has helped organize several neighborhood meetings to discuss the situation.

“It is a place to start,” said Poston of the city proposal. “By no means will it cure the problem.”

Parents with children at Lyman Gilmore and Scotten schools drive through her neighborhood to avoid West Main and Mill streets, Poston said. (The two schools are off West Main Street west of the city.)

Walsh Street resident Pablo Lopez said he proposed to city officials a year and a half ago to turn his street into a two-way street. He and his wife live on the block where Walsh is a one-way street.

The city usually closes sections of Mill and West Main streets during special events. On those days, cars could use Walsh to bypass the downtown area, Lopez said, alleviating traffic on nearby Neal.

People coming from Highway 20 would also no longer have to travel all the way to Neal, he said.

Drivers already ignore the one-way restriction on Walsh, he said. “A lot of people go up the wrong way.”

People now park on one side of Walsh, a narrow street. That means that two cars traveling in opposite directions will not be able to pass each other, Lopez cautioned. It will be just like other nearby streets, such as School Street, he added.

Yet parking along Walsh should not be eliminated, Lopez said, because parking is at a premium in the area. All the churches in the neighborhood need parking space, he said.

The Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains, a congregation with approximately 90 members, has a church at the corner of Walsh and South Church streets.

“I told (city officials) there’s no way we can do without the parking (on Walsh),” Judy van der Veen, Community of the Mountains president, said Sunday. Some members use walkers and need to park on Walsh, she said.

If the council approves the proposal Tuesday, the new stop signs and the traffic pattern on Walsh could be in place in two weeks. The city would install temporary signs for 14 days warning motorists of the pending changes.

Know and Go

WHAT: Grass Valley City Council

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: Council Chambers, City Hall, 125 E. Main St.

INFORMATION: 274-4310


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