Work on 49 may reduce tickets |

Work on 49 may reduce tickets

Staff Writer

Caltrans is planning to install permanent breaks in the double-yellow lines on Highway 49 this summer so residents can turn left off of access roads without getting ticketed.

A Caltrans maintenance crew painted over yellow lines in several spots on the highway as a temporary solution, while extensive grinding work is scheduled to take place sometime in the next several months, said Caltrans spokeswoman Shelly Chernicki.

The work is the result of several complaints by a handful of residents who live along Highway 49 and were ticketed by the CHP for making left turns over the rumble strips and yellow lines, installed last winter as part of a community initiative to make the highway a safety corridor.

“The yellow lines and the rumble strips are considered a divider,” said Grass Valley CHP Officer Dina Hernandez, citing California Vehicle Code Section 21651(a). “Anything over 2 feet (wide) is considered a divider, and you cannot cross over a divider at all.”

Chernicki said residents told Caltrans officials last year they wanted to limit left-turn access, reduce speed and cut down on accidents by installing the rumble strips.

“We did what everybody wanted done,” she said.

But now that complaints are mounting, she said, permanent breaks in the divider are planned.

Traffic control is going to be an issue while the work is done, she said, but it can’t be done at night because workers won’t be able to see adequately.

In the meantime, black paint will act as a temporary break in the divider along several areas of the highway between Grass Valley and Auburn.

“The paint will eventually wear off,” Chernicki said.

She could not estimate how much the grinding project will cost taxpayers, when it is scheduled to begin or how long traffic will be affected.


To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm or call 477-4236.

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