Downtown light to become four-way stop

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The flashing red intersection at Fifth and San Benito streets is expected to become a permanent, four-way stop.

The Hollister City Council accepted the results of a traffic operations analysis for the San Benito Street corridor at their Monday meeting. The study was approved on June 19 and prepared by Hexagon Transportation Consultants, Inc.

According to the study, the intersection operates at acceptable levels of service during morning and evening peak hours and thus does not warrant signalization. Replacing the signaled intersection with a four-way stop will have no adverse effect on the intersection, the study said.

“What’s happened at Fifth and San Benito streets has changed downtown,” Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez said during the meeting. “I can remember cars racing through there all day long running the red light just trying to get to the next point as fast as they could. It’s changed downtown.”

Additionally, the traffic analysis showed the intersection at Fourth and San Benito streets operates at an “unacceptable” level of service during both morning and evening peak hours. It recommended signal modification to improve traffic flow, which includes removing the existing signal poles and installing new signal equipment and poles with longer mast arms. Cost for this intersection is estimated around $175,000 and is eligible for fund reimbursement, according to the meeting’s staff report.

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