Michael Driskill: Speeding and traffic fatalities in Nevada County | TheUnion.com

Michael Driskill: Speeding and traffic fatalities in Nevada County

I’m hoping we can facilitate action by the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office, the Grass Valley Police Department to ameliorate the increasing problem of speeding and subsequent deaths on our major city roads and Highway 49.

Here is what I posted on Nextdoor.com (all communities). Get a reporter to garner some information and make a newsworthy article or opinion and stir up a community of citizens to demand redress.

Within a recent two-day time period there have been at least two fatality car crashes and a pedestrian death.

Here is the link from Channel 13, Sacramento news channel: https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2019/12/06/highway-49-shut-down-fatal-crash/ — 1 dead in north auburn, 1 pedestrian dead in Nevada City.

We need to take back our streets and make them safe.

If the speed zone doesn’t change coming into our neighborhood off Brunswick and Old Tunnel Road at the Chase bank and other businesses, there will soon be another crash and or death closer to the Safeway shopping center and the Auto Zone store.

I have called the City of Grass Valley Police Department, and they said that the demarcation between their jurisdiction and the “non-incorporated” part of that road was the sheriff’s jurisdiction.

Cars are rolling like a tsunami down Brunswick from Loma Rica at speeds averaging 45 to 50-plus miles per hour (personal hand held radar verified). The speed limit sign entering the “incorporated” area coming West (Chase Bank) at Old Tunnel Rd. is 40 mph.

I have been nearly hit on several occasions attempting to make left turns to enter the bank parking lot, or the Safeway parking lot, or trying to exit to enter the left lane on Brunswick to Sutton. Drivers are also speeding out of town (east) at the same location, Brunswick and Old Tunnel Road.

Three weeks ago I went to the county offices in Nevada City and filed a “complaint” (or whatever they called it), and was told they would pass the information to the powers that be. No correspondence or evidence of more patrol cars and speed traps have been noted.

I think we need a community effort to convince the sheriff’s office and the Grass Valley police department to do three things immediately to avoid the inevitable death and/or injury of pedestrians and drivers on this roadway:

Change the speed limit sign entering the “incorporated” segment to 30 mph one half mile prior to Old Tunnel Road.

Add a light at Old Tunnel Road and Brunswick to allow a) traffic from Old Tunnel to make left and right turns onto Brunswick going east or west and make the traffic slow down purposefully because speed signs don’t mean a lot to those hell bent on getting through the next light at Sutton Way.

Require collaboration between the two departments or redistrict Brunswick to include Bubbling Wells Road.

In April of 2018 I worked in collaboration with the City of Novato’s (Marin County) engineer to facilitate lights at pedestrian crosswalks and speed zones at eight intersections. When I finally met with her, three of the eight had been completed. The reason for this meeting was to stop the toll of deaths caused by hit-and-run drivers who killed a total of three persons (two in a vehicle crash, and one pedestrian using a crosswalk on another busy intersection) that occurred during the four months prior to our meeting.

After nearly 43 years in the medical field, 33-plus as a registered public health nurse, I decided to get out of the death zone in the Bay Area and move to a slower-paced, more-friendly environment … the city is very friendly, but the pace of drivers has not slowed down. All the speeding culprits are of every age and sex — young and old — and are becoming rude or perhaps brought that attitude with them from somewhere else.

We need action now, not in the unknown future. Your call to the county offices, your filing a “complaint,” and your writing letters to both them and the local newspapers will be a huge asset in getting these areas of our roadways, byways, and neighborhood streets and the drivers that use them, under control.

We need to take back our streets and make them safe.

Michael Driskill lives in Grass Valley.

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