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Residents oppose road fix

Protesters say smooth street will increase traffic
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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It’s unusual for residents to demand that their streets be allowed to deteriorate, but that is exactly what a number of Loomis residents did. “Don’t widen it, resurface it. Leave it the way it is,” said Nancy Banning, who lives on Del Mar Avenue and doesn’t want to see her street improved. Banning, along with many of her neighbors, spoke at the July 8 town council meeting beseeching the council not to improve their street. According to Brian Fragiao, Loomis director of public works, the town was trying to update its road improvement schedule, which included spending $800,000 for the reconstruction, widening and striping of Del Mar. “The town has to maintain it for safety. The General Plan says we have to fix the roads to standard width and Del Mar was next,” Fragiao said. According to a town report prepared for that meeting, it was brought to the town’s attention that Del Mar Avenue residents were “apprehensive” about the town’s planned road improvements combined with Rocklin developments. Residents voiced fears that improving their road would attract more drivers wanting to use Del Mar as a cutoff between Sierra College Boulevard and Taylor Road. They also were concerned that Rocklin’s planned widening and extension of Dominguez Road would dump traffic onto Del Mar. According to the staff report, Rocklin’s General Plan includes extending Dominguez Road from Pacific Street (Taylor Road) across Interstate 80 and looping it around to meet Sierra College Boulevard at the south end of the Rocklin Crossings project. During the meeting, a few Del Mar residents asked council to close Del Mar to through traffic. Resident Cindy McHale stated she would rather “dead-end it before we let Rocklin use it.” Residents cited excessive speed and drivers running stop signs as some of the hazards on the road. They also said the road was often unsafe for walking or biking. According to town records, the possibility of closing Del Mar was first raised in 2001 when the town council approved the General Plan. In 2003, after numerous meetings, resident surveys and an actual council vote approving the road closure, the council decided to install traffic-calming measures. Later that year, four speed bumps were installed along Del Mar by the town’s public works department. A study of the speed-bump installation showed a decrease in the speed and number of cars using the road. According to Loomis Town Manager Perry Beck, at the July meeting the council ultimately directed public works to make no improvements to Del Mar unless they were repairs made for safety reasons.