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Board Approves New Project in Successful Traffic-Safety Effort

March 24, 2015

Placer County is laying the groundwork for a new project in its award-winning campaign to reduce the frequency and severity of traffic collisions on county roads.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $57,621 contract with Central Striping Service Inc. to install recessed reflective pavement markers on five county roads: Bowman, Dry Creek, Horseshoe Bar, Lake Arthur and West Weimar Cross Road.

The pavement markers will be installed on both sides of centerlines to help prevent head-on collisions. A grant from the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program will provide 90 percent of the funding and county road funds will cover the remaining 10 percent.

“This kind of pavement marker has been proven to reduce head-on collisions by 25 percent. The markers make motorists more aware of centerlines at night and create a loud vibration that serves as an alarm to motorists who cross the markers,” said county Senior Civil Engineer Stephanie Holloway. “Due to the rural nature of many county roadways, nighttime awareness of signs and markings is a top priority of our traffic-safety program.”  

The project is the latest in a long series of initiatives undertaken by the Public Works Department to improve traffic safety on county roadways since 2009. The department works closely with the California Highway Patrol and other agencies on the traffic-safety program.

Last year, the program was recognized with an Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project Award from the California State Association of Counties, League of California Cities and County Engineers Association of California. The awards program honors exceptional achievements by cities and counties to preserve and protect local road systems.

Each year, Public Works conducts a traffic-safety analysis to identify where most collisions occur and what can be done to prevent them.

For the latest project, the department identified the five roads set to receive pavement markers by analyzing the county road network, looking for roadways where more than two head-on collisions occurred within a half mile of each other from 2007-2011.

Since 2009, the program has received more than $5 million in grant funding for low-cost safety projects.  

A $30,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety was used by Public Works to create the cornerstone of the program: computer software tailored to the county’s needs that identifies segments of rural roads with high concentrations of traffic collisions more precisely than was possible in the past.

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