Santa Paula Times

Bike Trail: Users have to follow the green man at certain intersections

November 04, 2011
Santa Paula News

Several Santa Paula intersections have become high tech - and perhaps initially a tad confusing - due to the new recreational Bike Trail. And users will have to learn to follow the “green man” at certain intersections.

According to Public Works Director Brian Yanez, traffic signage at Main Street and Palm Avenue as well as at Peck Road at Main Street/Harvard Boulevard - where the two east-west streets almost meet - now sports “No Turn on Red” signs for motorists. And the signals on each four-way corner will be synchronized when a user of the railroad track-hugging bike trail presses the button where they are supposed to cross the thoroughfares.

Yanez said the pedestrian signals, which had to be created because of the “unique intersections” due to the configuration of the trail’s location, are set back from the regular walkways. And when the recreational bike trail user pushes the walkway button it will activate a synchronized action that will “cycle through” to make all traffic signals red.

Then and only then, when all traffic is stopped, the pedestrian will see the famous traffic signal “green man” signifying it’s time for them to cross the street in the walkway and giving them 15 seconds to do so. Yanez said the recreational trail users would have to learn that using the crosswalks does have strict rules.

“The hard part is getting people to understand that they can’t walk across the street until the signage shows the green man,” which signals that all other traffic is stopped. Overall, said Yanez, when it comes to the new signage, “It’s there, it’s safe and hopefully people will abide by it,” and that includes motorists now banned from making right turns on red lights.

Of course the irony of the issue is that the recreational Bike Trail still has not officially opened. But from Peck Road all the way to 12th Street, users are becoming more common on the grant-funded trail.

In recent months the council has started discussing rules, regulations and policies for users of the trail, which although it has a price tag of more than $4 million the city was only required to come up with a 10 percent match.