Police Chief Mitch Celaya updated the city council on measures his department has taken in response to complaints from residents about traffic issues on Foothill Boulevard at Tuesday’s regular meeting.
In recent weeks, officers have stepped up enforcement of the speed limit by issuing more citations, monitoring traffic by sitting in squad cars in targeted areas, and placing radar signs on the road.
Celaya said he has increased expectations of his officers to be more vigilant.
Since the beginning of the year there have been five reported incidents on that road including three DUIs, an incident involving speeding and one with distracted driving, Celaya said.
Because Foothill Boulevard is also a state highway, the city can enlist the help of CHP. The state requires a traffic survey to be conducted, measuring in the speed and number of vehicles on the road before they step in, however. Celaya cautioned that survey results could create the unintended consequence of the state raising the 35 mph speed limit to 45 mph if speeding is the greatest issue, as it’s the state’s intention to keep traffic flowing.
Cost of the survey has also yet to be determined.
The city is also acquiring six new radar signs, two of which will be placed on Foothill Boulevard. Other roadways in town targeted for the signs include Grant Street, Berry Street, Cedar Street, Brannan Street and Washington Street.
In other business, the city is reverting 18 parking spaces on the south side of Gerard Street to unrestricted parking after being taken out of service during construction of the Lincoln Avenue Bridge. Parking will be unrestricted seven days a week.
New planning dept. permit position
The city’s assistant to the planning and building department, Jill Saunders, will retire effective June 28. That vacancy presents an opportunity to fill the need to reclassify the position to a more comprehensive permit technician, the staff report said, and the council agreed.
Due to the increasing complexity of permit processing, the new position will offer a higher level of technical service at the department’s front counter, provide information related to routine land use and zoning matters, and process administrative planning permits.
The Month of May was honored with several proclamations from the City of Calistoga at the city council meeting on Tuesday.
May is Building Safety Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, and also joins the rest of the U.S. for National Bike Month.
Municipal Clerk’s Week was also proclaimed for May 5-11, and Calistoga joined the rest of the U.S. for National Travel & Tourism for that same week.