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City Council Approves Removing Traffic Signal

The traffic light at Lemon Grove Way and Grove Street will switch to flashing for 60 to 90 days before being replaced with stop signs in all directions.

The city will move ahead with a plan to change the traffic signal at Lemon Grove Way and Grove Street into a four-way stop.

The Lemon Grove City Council Tuesday night voted 5-0 to remove the traffic light.

City Manager Graham Mitchell said in the first week of January, the city will turn the signal to flashing for 60 to 90 days “that way people get used to it being a stop.”

The switch to flashing will also give the city a chance to "feel the temperature of the water" and for city engineers to make sure there aren't any unforeseen issues," he said.

“Barring no traffic engineering problems, we’ll remove the poles and put in the sign [at that point in time],” he said.

Staff estimates that removing the signal in favor of stop signs will cost $20,000, but will save $1,200 annually in energy and maintenance costs, City Engineer Leon Firsht wrote in a report to council.  Removing the signal also will eliminate the need in the future to replace traffic signal components for a savings of around $2,800 a year, Firsht said.

Funds for the project have been budgeted as part of the city’s Five-Year Capital Improvement Program.

The decision to bring the proposed project to the council follows a study Rick Engineering conducted on the signal, which was installed in 1987. 

“Since then, traffic patterns and traffic volumes have changed in the immediate area, due to nearby development and freeway improvements,” wrote Principal Engineer Mark Jugar in a report to the city.

The construction of the State Route 94/State Route 125 freeway connector completed in 2003 eliminated the on and off ramps at Grove Street and motorists access the nearest interchange at Lemon Grove Avenue west of the Lemon Grove Way and Grove Street intersection, Jugar said.

The report urged the city to put in an all-way stop if the decision is made to remove the signal.

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