Maggi wrote Tuesday to warn us about a dangerous set-up as Caltrans begins to transfer dirt from the abandoned Highway 12 extension to the current Airport Boulevard construction project. She was nearly rear-ended at the site about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, and reports that two cars behind her weren’t so lucky.
“There are 2 flaggers at the dirt off-hauling operation at the on-ramp to Highway 12 at Farmers Lane. The first one stops westbound Hoen traffic to allow the empty trucks to move onto the hill. The second one stops the westbound on-ramp traffic to allow the full trucks to move onto the highway.
“I narrowly missed being rear-ended this morning because after being released from the first flagger, everyone sped up to enter the highway – not expecting to be almost immediately stopped again. The car behind me stopped just in time, but the car behind him didn’t & then traffic was totally stopped behind me, as they dealt with the crumpled fenders.
“I would suggest that they try to coordinate the truck entrance & exit so that there is only one stop. If that isn’t possible, at least put another Prepare to Stop & Flagger signs right after the first flagger – or some kind of signage to prepare people unfamiliar with the process.”
Caltrans spokesman Allyn Amsk passed Maggie’s letter along, and on Thursday had this to report: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Caltrans is working with the contractor to coordinate the flow of traffic through the area.”
In the meantime, motorists who pass the site should be aware that off-hauling crews will work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday for about five more weeks, transferring 15-20 loads each day. During this time, the left shoulder of the eastbound exit ramp will be closed.
Extra police enforcement
Another spot to watch next week: Mendocino Avenue at Bicentennial Way.
In addition to the city construction project at that intersection, Santa Rosa Police Department hastargeted it for special attention the week of June 24-28. It’s the seventh most dangerous intersection in Santa Rosa, with 23 accidents in 2012.
As part of a weekly Monday through Friday special enforcement program, officers will be looking for drivers not wearing seat belts, who are illegally using cellphones, speeding, running red lights or committing lane violations.
Each week, the officers pick one of the city’s top 25 collision-troubled intersections to monitor.
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