Flashing lights at Third and Santa Teresa

I’d like to comment about the construction work at the intersection of Third and Santa Teresa. All weekend long and in the evenings when the workers are not there, they leave a flashing red light going in both directions. I can understand this while workers are present, but on evenings and weekends they ought to change it to a flashing yellow light for north- and southbound traffic on Santa Teresa and a flashing red light for people trying to get out of homes on Third Street. It’s bad enough they had to block off Third Street going east, but having the flashing red light north and south on Santa Teresa creates a traffic backup almost all the way to First Street.

Who does the strategic planning for this? We’ve got the Miller intersection, which has been under construction for months and months, which forces us to go off to Luchessa, which is also under construction, and now the Third Street intersection at Santa Teresa is under construction. Why can’t these projects be done in phases instead of simultaneously?
Red Phone:

Red Phone apologizes for the delay in responding to your concerns, good caller. Since contacting gilroy traffic engineer Henry Servin, city staff meetings were held and schedule and mitigation efforts have been implemented.

The property developer, Meritage, for the purpose of mitigating traffic issues caused by its development project, is building the roundabout at this intersection with the Gilroy Public Works Department, according to Servin.

Servin said, “We are aware that the existing construction method is causing traffic back-ups and we are pleading with [the developer] to do things differently.”

After several meetings between city staff and the developer, a schedule resulted with four phases to be completed by the end of August.

Servin said, “The first phase is the most disruptive to motorists; however traffic flows should improve considerably by the end of June. The current construction has produced serious delays and we are working closely with the builder to provide work-around solutions.”

Servin also said, “We request your patience and understanding while we complete construction of this roundabout.”

Servin added, “We are trying to keep traffic moving during construction, but must do so in the safest manner possible. We began using the temporary stop signs last week, but we were disappointed when the signs were stolen or knocked down several times. To reduce traffic conflicts, we ordered the traffic signals and had to anticipate that some folks might need extra time to react to them. We are working on providing remedies until we can switch over to the partial roundabout in a few more weeks.”

According to Servin, Phase IIA will start by the end of June, at which time the roundabout should be working without traffic lights or stop signs. However, Third Street will not be fully accessible till the end of Phase IV.

Servin said, “Our goal is your safety and the safety of others, therefore a temporary traffic signal has been erected to manage traffic flow safely. The current phase of construction will continue for three additional weeks, and traffic flow should smooth considerably after this first phase is complete. Construction hours are being limited to alleviate morning and evening commutes, and Sundays.”

If anyone has concerns about this project, contact Rick Smelser at (408) 846-0260, or Henry Servin at (408) 846-0451 x277. Updates will be posted weekly on the city website www.cityofgilroy.org.

So, good caller, at least we have a schedule for completion, the promise of improvements to traffic flow within a few weeks, and temporary fixes for now.