Discovery Bay resident Theresa McSweeney was one of those community members. She said that she likes to walk for exercise and, more than once, she and her daughter have encountered grisly road-kill scenes as they walked along Newport Drive.
She said that uncaring or inattentive motorists, some of whom routinely exceed the speed limit, sometimes run over mother ducks and their hatchlings during the spring hatching season.
The bushy wetlands area west of Newport Drive and north of Capstan Road is home to many spring nests where ducklings are hatched. The broods then scurry across Newport Drive to the bays just to the east, where the ducklings learn to fend for themselves. That same yearly cycle occurs adjacent to Discovery Bay Boulevard as well.
McSweeney wrote a letter to the CSD and attended its meetings hoping to enlighten the board of the danger these roadways pose to the duck population that nearly equals at times the population of the Delta community.
Initially, CSD Director David Piepho said that county officials were reluctant to have the signs made, worried that the town's next request for crossing signs might target beavers or muskrats.
"We told them that wouldn't be the case, but since we are a water community, we really did need the duck crossing signs," said Piepho, who with the help of Town General Manager Virgil Koehne volunteered to install the signs this week.
Piepho was also pleased that they were able to get the signs free of charge from the county public works department, alleviating the town from having to fund the signs.
"They didn't cost the people of Discovery Bay one thin dime," Piepho said, as he tightened bolts holding a sign to a light pole. "We (CSD board) want to make sure that we listen not only to the loud voices but the small ones (like Theresa McSweeney) as well."
For her part, McSweeney is extremely pleased about the placement of the signs. "I just hope it makes drivers more aware of the ducks and where their little families cross our streets in the springtime."