“The goal of the traffic unit is to address the concerns that are occurring in our residential areas and try to better address problems we are having on our city streets,” said Sergeant Joe Sadler.
The traffic issues came into focus for the city following the death of Dani Aguilar. A drunk driver was speeding though a residential area and hit Aguilar while he was getting his mail. Many residents in his neighborhood said that they had been complaining of common speeding for a while.
“A lot of the traffic issues that we’re having and quality of life issues that are occurring are because of speeding in residential neighborhoods,” said Sadler.
While the police department is focusing on enforcement, the Blaine Traffic Commission is focusing traffic concerns. These concerns might be related to stop signs, crosswalks or other issues in neighborhoods. They have been meeting since April.
“We talk about some of the issues that are being brought forth to the city,” said Traffic Commission chair Todd Haas.
At the July meeting, they looked at two different neighborhoods that have been having speed issues. So far, their work is just getting started, but Todd hopes that they will be able to make a real difference in the city.
“As far as the local city streets, of course, you’ve got to move traffic, but we’ve got to make it so it’s safe, and people comply with the rules and regulations that are out there,” said Haas.
The police department believes that these two extra officers will allow for more time and attention to be directed towards residents traffic concerns.
“Currently, with a city our size, we have approximately 65,000 people, and with the patrol officers that we have, it’s difficult for us to have a consistent presence in neighborhoods that are having problems. The thing we are going to have an advantage of now, with having two officers assigned to work strictly traffic is that, that’s their job. When residential concerns come in with a traffic issue, it’s their job to sit, to monitor it, and determine what we can do to try to help solve that problem,” said Sadler.