Many community members have complained about the changes on Ladd Lane. Photo by Noe Magaña.
Many community members have complained about the changes on Ladd Lane. Photo by Noe Magaña.

This article was updated to reflect a change of date of when the presentation will be given to the City Council.

This article was written by BenitoLink intern Michael Koteles

The Hollister City Council is scheduled to review next steps on Ladd Lane and Southside Road on Aug. 21. Hollister management analyst Monica Leon said the engineering department will provide a presentation and then ask for direction from the council. 

The project has been an ongoing issue for the city as it originally said it was installing traffic calming measures to deter speeding. Since the city began work at Ladd Lane, it has been restriped and then members of the community have spoken against the measures installed stating it’s created more problems for the neighborhood. 

The painting was funded by the Transportation Development Act Funds. The total contracted price for the slurry seal and the striping for the traffic calming of Ladd Lane was $596,000.

On June 14, the City of Hollister conducted a virtual and in-person meeting to engage residents in a discussion about modifying the traffic calming measures installed on Ladd Lane and South Side Road. 

The event was part of the mayor’s commitment to seeking public input before implementing any significant projects according to interim City Manager David Mirrione.  

During the meeting, Mirrione said that the intention was to foster a conversation with residents rather than holding a formal public comment session. He added the input received at the meeting, as well as an online poll, will be summarized and presented in a report to the City Council.

The concepts presented at the meeting were not considered final options but rather ideas for discussion and feedback. City Engineer Glenn March said that the primary objective was to gather input on what aspects of the current traffic calming measures residents appreciated and what areas they found problematic.

Various concerns and suggestions were raised by attendees throughout the meeting about the traffic circles. Among those included children playing on them, drivers with trailers and emergency vehicles having difficulty maneuvering around them and drivers using them for donuts. 

Residents voiced concern over the impact traffic circles have on large or towing vehicles. Photo by Noe Magaña.
Residents voiced concern over the impact traffic circles have on large or towing vehicles. Photo by Noe Magaña.

A participant in the meeting shared their observation, “There was a lot of drag racing… a lot of donut holes right behind my home. They’re on Ladd Lane and it happened in the daytime. They’re pretty brazen and they’re pretty reckless.”

Visibility and speeding were highlighted as significant concerns during the meeting. Another community member voiced, “Racers going down speeding through that road. Also, that’s really why I was here… is there any way that can be done? A camera installation at least.”

A participant expressed their concern about safety, stating, “Huge safety hazard with the delineators. I don’t know what height the cars were talking about where it provides good visibility. You have some very low-profile cars, and I’m sorry, you cannot see through those things. It is a big problem, especially at night because of the reflection. It’s blinding, it’s a huge, huge problem. I’m in the camp of making this thing as it was before, straight as an arrow.”

A third issue that was brought up was pedestrian and bicyclist safety. “For making the left turn it’s the short cement barriers poles when you make the turn that blocks cars from going into the bike lane,” said a speaker. “I understand that’s why they’re there but everything just seems like just too close even if you’re going at a slow speed there’s just that risk that I’m gonna hit something.”

Residents were encouraged to subscribe to the city’s website to receive updates on agendas and ongoing opportunities to participate in the online survey.

As stated by the City of Hollister, they’re committed to engaging residents and addressing their concerns as it works towards finding an optimal solution for the traffic calming measures on Ladd Lane and South Side Road.

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