Red Phone: Safety needed on 6th Street

“I have been a resident of Gilroy for many years and I was wondering why they can’t put a detour on Sixth Street where all the work is going on. Recently a good friend of mine lost his life because of people’s stupidity. Drivers don’t watch where they are going and they don’t look around or abide by the signs. The city should close that street like they did on the main street. I was in construction for more than 40 years. We always worked it out with the city to close the street down during working hours. Then they don’t have to worry about watching their back.”

Red Phone: Dear Safety Needed, You are right, good caller. People often speed through construction zones and pay little attention to the people that are working there.
The city actually did consider closing Sixth Street where the construction is occurring, but there were several factors that came into play in keeping it open, said Daniel Hughes, development engineer for the city.
“Safety is always a concern,” he said. “It is very important for individuals both driving and pedestrians to be safe. We feel that the project contractor is taking the proper precautions to ensure safety.”
Unlike with Monterey Road, the main street through downtown, the whole street is not being improved. “Monterey improvements were basically building front to building front, the entire width of the road and sidewalk,” he said.
Sixth Street is a major crosstown connector and is used by Valley Transport Authority buses. Because of the heavy traffic, it would be hard to shut it down, Hughes said.
Another consideration was the effect on the downtown business. “The feeling was that those businesses would suffer greatly from a full road closure,” he said.
Because of the relaxed time schedule, they were able to work on the area in quadrants to avoid long-term parking loss and road closure, Hughes said.
The project is tentatively scheduled to be completed by June 30, but the date will probably be pushed back because of all the rain, he said.
So please slow down when driving through this area and be aware of the people who are working there.

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