According to city officials in Colusa, Sioc Street has become a thoroughfare for GPS-guided travelers — which has taken a toll on the residential street and become a nuisance for those residing along it. Their answer? Stop signs.
“Staff was directed by the city council to look at mitigations due to complaints from residents on Sioc Street. People traveling through town towards Williams and using a GPS are being told to use Sioc Street, as it’s the shortest route,” City Manager Randy Dunn said. “They’re taking that route, and it is causing a problem. The traffic in front of people’s houses is terrible… (and) there is wear and tear on the street from the heavy traffic.”
The stop signs have already been put in place, but they are currently covered and will not be unveiled until crosswalks have been painted at the intersections.
“The target date is within a couple of weeks, but we still have to put crosswalks up, and that will be dependent on weather. For now, they will stay veiled,” Dunn said.
Dunn, who travels Sioc Street going from home to work every day, said that he had personally seen an increase in traffic on the street in the past couple years.
The city decided on installing more stop signs because it was the most economical solution to the problem — cheaper than putting in speed bumps or a stoplight.
“We thought stop signs were the cheapest route to go,” Dunn said, making note of Colusa’s projected budgetary shortfall next year. “And if at some point we determine that we need to, we have the option to remove them.”
The city’s hope is that the stop signs will encourage motorists to continue along Bridge Street to Market Street — a highway route intended for heavier traffic.
“We’re hoping that they take Market Street. We’re working with Caltrans to put some signage up… to direct traffic there. We used to have that, but that went away over time. We’re hoping to get those signs back up,” Dunn said.
Another option for motorists passing through town is Fremont Street. While the street is more suitable for traffic than Sioc, it is also the street upon which both Egling Middle School and Burchfield Primary School are situated.
“We do have two stoplights for (students to cross safely to) the schools, and that might deter motorists, but time will tell,” Dunn said. “Of course, there are concerns with the schools. It’s something we will have to monitor very closely. Time will tell where the GPS takes them… Council may have to look at things again and come up with some other steps, but this is the first one.”