Drivers in Marysville will need to pay special attention at the intersection of Fifth and Vine streets beginning Wednesday, Aug. 14.
Based on two studies of traffic flow completed in the last year, Mayor John Gore said the city will start a 90-day trial period of turning off the traffic light and using stop signs instead.
"We will have stop signs at Vine Street for a two-way stop," Gore told Marysville City Council at its Aug. 8 meeting. "The traffic signal will just be bagged; it will still be left there."
The mayor said this is one step in a process that started 18 months ago to evaluate traffic flow throughout the city.
"It may be warranted to remove that traffic signal, but you only know if you remove it and monitor the traffic flow," Gore said. "If we determine we don't need the traffic signal, we'll take it down."
City Engineer Valerie Klingman said her department will evaluate to make sure the lack of a signal does not cause any traffic backups and to make sure drivers have appropriate gaps in traffic to pull out from Vine Street to Fifth Street.
"We'll go back in 30 days for a count and another one in 60 days to see if traffic patterns are changing," she said.
"If we decide (the traffic light) needs to stay, that whole intersection needs to be upgraded to an actuated signal system. We probably need to add pedestrian signals," Klingman said.
Gore assured council that bagging the signal is just part of an evaluation.
"If we determine before the 90 days are up that it creates a bigger problem, then we'll go right back to where we were," he said.
In other business Aug. 8, resident Glenn Dickey said as a retiree, he spends a lot of time walking in Marysville and is tired of tripping over tree roots.
Council members and Gore both expressed appreciation for Dickey's concerns and explained that the city is working on infrastructure issues.
"We're paying a heck of a price to catch up with the past," Gore said. "We still have to plan for the future and move forward."
In 2012, the city spent $346,000 on sidewalks; in 2013; it spent $190,000; and in 2014, it plans to spend $1.8 million, with most of that going to bridge connectivity between Mill Valley and the schools.
"We have a program in place that the city will pay up to 50 percent of sidewalk repairs if the resident responsible will pay half, up to $1,500," Gore said.
Dickey offered to evaluate sidewalks for the city as a way to determine which ones need to be fixed.