by Ted Hickman
I had nothing really do with the new stop signs now standing at State Highway 113 and Midway Road.… Neither did Solano County supervisors John Vazquez or Skip Thompson or former Mayor Jack Bachelor or current Mayor Thom Bogue… or the CHP or the Solano County Transportation Authority, or any state legislator. None really had anything to do with the safety enhancement just put in place this past Saturday at one of the most dangerous intersections in Solano County… They/we all did!
During my four elected terms on the city council (16 years total) getting that intersection (and Pitt School and Porter roads, too!) somehow safer was always a priority. It came to a head last summer when a young man lost his life (see photo) and my wife and I happened upon the scene before the dust settled; literally; (and before the body was covered).
As fire and police arrived I (as a reporter) held an impromptu conference with CHP officers gathered at the scene – including their new area commander to whom I explained my long call for something to be done about that intersection. I told him I had written about it for years and made it a constant item at city council meetings. He said it was bad and he would help where he could. I explained it was all up to Cal Trans and he said he felt a traffic light would be appropriate.
He said he would do what he could at his level and asked me to continue my long quest and asked that to again involve everyone I could at city, county and state levels… I kept my word and did my part so following that road/death side meeting I again asked the city council to petition and ask the STA through Mayor Thom Bogue, and supervisors Vasquez and Thompson and our state legislators for help prioritizing this issue using the death as a catalyst and citing numerous serious accidents and the growing population in the South-west area increasing the 24/7 traffic.
After rattling the sabers again this time someone at Cal Trans took notice and prioritized a “minor project” saying it was now a higher priority and an enhancement would becoming “soon.” It was actually done in warp speed for Cal Trans with all of the statewide projects they have on the table. In only a few months suddenly the new signs appear, sans any warning light (as of yet, but they’re coming.) Supervisors Vasquez and Thompson are working on the county putting up flashing warning lights on Midway and both sides of 113. Vasquez has the east side and Thompson has the west in their districts… Long story shortened… Finally a dicey solution has been found and enacted to help lessen the danger for a problem I’ve been working on for over 50 years (which existed decades before that) both as a journalist and an elected official.
When something like this finally gets done you can only sigh and hope you’ve prevented multiple deaths and injuries; but we’ll never know… Some will still run both stop signs and some will get hurt and some will die… Just make sure it isn’t any of you or yours.
It’s even more important than in the city when doing a “California stop”… in our rural areas not stopping can kill you… Like the poor young man who left for work to come to the Dixon area early one morning and never came home that night because his car was broadsided by a big rig apparently traveling within permitted speeds. He pulled out on to 113 from Midway for whatever reason either didn’t see or have time to react to being in the path of a huge multi-ton machine.
Always be cautious at each intersection on all rural roads. If you drive them enough you see stupid things and things beyond belief. Always assume an approaching car WILL run a stop sign. Drive smart; live long and prosper!