Editor: As anyone who drives through Brentwood may have noticed, the city has implemented a program to promote safe driving through our city.
‘Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine’ lists the fines associated with various traffic infractions. It is a reminder that we have a responsibility, as licensed drivers, to obey the law and make the trip through our city safe for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
But, this burden of responsibility is not only to be laid upon the shoulders of drivers; it should also be shared by our city government.
This trek through our city is often an exercise in mind-numbing frustration, as it is common to have to stop at every traffic signal on our major thoroughfares. A good example is the abundance of traffic signals on Balfour between Highway 4 and Foothill, (which has) five signals in about a quarter mile that seem to be timed so drivers are forced to stop at every signal, even during very light traffic conditions.
Do others notice while driving along a main street, a vehicle trips the pad on a side street, and immediately stops 50 vehicles on the main street to allow this one driver to proceed? Or the seeming eternity spent parked in the left turn lanes?
This mismanagement of the traffic flow is responsible for two major problems.
First, the aggravation that drivers experience during this ‘tour of the red lights’ encourages people to take dangerous chances by speeding, running ‘orange’ lights and rolling through right turns on red. Secondly, the shear volume of idling vehicles at these red lights surely contributes to our climate change problems.
I encourage all residents to voice their concerns to our city leaders. Brentwood uses the same computerized traffic flow system used by other cities.
Antioch, for example, synchronizes the traffic signals on Hillcrest to flow at 45 mph. This allows traffic to efficiently flow with minimal stops, less frustration and much less idling to help improve our environment. Why can’t Brentwood do the same on our main streets?
If the City of Brentwood is truly concerned with safety, and if we want to be leaders in the fight to slow climate change, then the recommendation to synchronize our traffic signals should be seriously considered. Otherwise, ‘Pay the Fine’ is simply a program to collect more revenue from residents.