Finally somebody admits that Grand Terrace has too much traffic!
Growth pains hit little GT City reacts to area building of homes (SBSUN)
Stephen Wall, Staff Writer
GRAND TERRACE - Thousands of new homes being built in neighboring communities will generate major traffic impacts on city streets, according to a new study.
The city's traffic consultant, who conducted the $25,000 study, recommends several measures to deal with the increased congestion in the next five years.
Additional speed bumps, traffic signals, widened intersections and other improvements are proposed in the study by Traffic Engineer Craig Neusteader.
Another recommendation is increasing the fee that developers pay for traffic improvements.
"We don't have any choice," Mayor Maryetta Ferre said. "It's our neighboring cities that are developing these homes. We are going to be feeling the effects of the traffic. It behooves us to be ahead of the game, to mitigate the traffic, so we can best handle it so it doesn't affect us adversely." Yet, she wants to bring in a Lowes on Barton Road. Ahead of the game means - How can I capatilize on this.
More than 2,000 homes are being built just south of Grand Terrace in in Riverside County's Highgrove area, officials said.
Hundreds more are on the way in Reche Canyon and the La Loma Hills area in Colton.
Loma Linda and Redlands also have housing projects in the works that are expected to bring traffic through Grand Terrace as motorists seek to avoid congestion on interstates 10 and 215, the study says.
"Cars are going to be coming through," Ferre said. "Now is the time to make some big decisions that will work in the future."
Neusteader's study recommends speed bumps on Grand Terrace Road, Dos Rios Avenue, McClarren Street and Carhart Avenue.
The study also calls for traffic signals on Mount Vernon Avenue at Grand Terrace Road, Van Buren and Main streets.
"I think the red lights will help slow the traffic down," said Bobbie Forbes, a longtime resident and businesswoman. "It's like a race track on Mount Vernon and Barton Road."
To take traffic off Mount Vernon and Barton, Neusteader recommends widening Michigan Avenue from Barton to DeBerry Street and adding an eastbound lane on Main Street from Iowa Avenue to Mount Vernon.
The study also calls for reconstruction of the Barton Road railroad overcrossing east of La Cadena Drive. That project could be paid for largely with federal dollars, Neusteader said.
He also recommends building a concrete median on Barton between I-215 and Mount Vernon and redesigning freeway ramps to increase traffic capacity.
Assistant City Manager Steve Berry said the city is expected to receive nearly $650,000 in traffic-mitigation fees from the developers of two housing projects in Highgrove.
That money paid for the study and covers the cost of some of the proposed improvements, Berry said.
The study recommends raising development-impact fees an unspecified amount to pay for additional traffic improvements.
Neusteader is expected to discuss the study in detail at tonight's City Council meeting, which starts at 6.