Safety

Wildfire safety blackouts in California by PG&E could leave homes without power till Friday

A return of bone-dry humidity and gusty winds Wednesday in Northern Calfornia during the peak of wildfire season is expected to result in power outages for tens of thousands of customers that could last until Friday.

The nation’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), warned it may begin power shutoffs by Wednesday evening to as many as 54,000 customers in 24 counties.

“We really view it as a last resort option,” Mark Quinlan, the company’s incident commander, said at a briefing on Tuesday.

POWER OUTAGES IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MAY IMPACT 50,000 PG&E CUSTOMERS IN SAFETY SHUTOFFS

Wind gusts possibly hitting 55 mph have spurred the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue a red-flag warning from 5 a.m. Wednesday through Friday morning.

While PG&E said it will make a final decision sometime on Wednesday morning whether to implement the pre-emptive electricity cuts, it advised that it began its one-day advance notifications to customers.

Customers in portions of the following counties are being notified of potential shutoffs: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Lake, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba.

The Public Safety Power Shutoff is an effort by the utility to prevent fires from being started by damaged power lines fouled or knocked down in high winds. The utility also has deployed generators and other measures to keep electricity flowing in some areas that might otherwise have lost power during the outages, according to Quinlan.

If the forecast unfolds as planned, there will be two main waves of when customers lose electricity.

CALIFORNIA UTILITY USING ‘SMARTER, SHORTER’ TACTIC FOR BLACKOUTS TO PREVENT WILDFIRES

About 33,000 homes and

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East Street Cycle Link And Safety Improvements Proposed

Creating a safe environment for people travelling around
the City Rail Link (CRL) Karangahape Station construction
zone is behind a proposed East Street cycleway link and
safety improvements on the surrounding
streets.

Auckland Transport (AT) is proposing a range
of tactical changes including a cycleway link between Te Ara
I Whiti – Lightpath and Karangahape Road, via East
Street.

AT Programme Manager, Ian Howell says “With
the number of heavy trucks entering the CRL worksite
continuing to increase, we want to ensure that people
walking, riding bikes, or driving through this area are safe
and protected,” he says.

The proposal includes
turning East Street into a one way for vehicles northbound
between Canada and Galatos Streets and installing a two-way
protected cycleway.

Speed tables will be also
installed to create a slower-speed environment for all road
users. To assist with wayfinding, the colour scheme for the
cycleway and slow speed areas will match that of Te Ara I
Whiti – Lightpath and the Karangahape Road Enhancements,
with their distinctive magenta colouring.

The proposal
affects South Street, East Street, West Terrace and Galatos
Street and will remain in place until the Karangahape
Station is completed in 2024.

Mr Howell says these
initiatives will not only encourage safer speeds but will
also provide a more predictable and clearer road layout
making it easier for people to get around.

“There is
a lot going on in this area right now with the CRL works and
the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. We are expecting
many more people on bikes to be using Karangahape Rd when
the new cycleway is completed. The East Street Link will
provide a safe way of connecting to Te Ara I Whiti –
Lightpath”

Waitematā Local Board member Graeme
Gunthorp

Line painting planned for next year as part of Oakmont’s pedestrian safety improvements

About an hour ago

An Oakmont pedestrian safety project, inspired by a traffic study and a borough Girl Scout, is planned for next year.

Borough officials earmarked $40,000 in the 2021 budget for line painting for crosswalks along Allegheny River Boulevard and Allegheny Avenue.

It is unclear how much painting could be done with that amount of money.

The decision to improve the crosswalks was done after reviewing a traffic study by Wooster and Associates of Pittsburgh and a report from resident Audrey Myers, a ninth-grader at Riverview High School.

“I think she inspired us to move forward on it, and she has given us a wonderful tool to work with,” Councilwoman Nancy Ride said. “We’re able to use it rather than doing our research with our own staff, and we thank her.”

Audrey examined about 120 intersections this past spring and noted the quality of the crosswalks and whether there were sidewalk ramps. Audrey also took photos of all of the intersections.

She submitted her data to the borough in March. Officials put that data into an interactive dashboard for Oakmont’s geographic information systems a few months later.

According to Audrey’s report, 53 of the intersections examined had crosswalks while 61 only had sidewalk ramps.

Out of those crosswalks, seven were listed in good condition, 20 in fair condition, 21 were poor and three earned mixed reviews.

Myers is a member of Girl Scout Troop 52359 in Oakmont and Boy Scout Troop 9143 in Monroeville.

Her efforts will go toward her Girl Scouts Silver Award.

The traffic study was released a few months ago. It included an analysis of traffic along Allegheny Avenue, Third Street and Cedar Way from Hulton

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Transport officials plan Napier Rd safety improvements

Traffic lights are planned to improve safety at the Napier Rd-Roberts Line intersection.

David Unwin/Stuff

Traffic lights are planned to improve safety at the Napier Rd-Roberts Line intersection.

Safety concerns on State Highway 3 heading east out of Palmerston North have prompted transport officials to decide traffic lights should be installed at the busy Roberts Line intersection.

The lights are expected to make it safer for all traffic, especially cyclists and pedestrians, from Kelvin Grove wanting to cross SH3-Napier Rd to get to the Manawatū River shared pathway.

There will be a pathway beside the highway from Roberts Line to Sutton Place to complete the off-road route.

NZ Transport Agency director of regional relationships Emma Speight said the decision to make improvements came after reviewing public feedback. That consultation happened in August 2018.

READ MORE:
* Anger mounts among Palmerston North politicians over Napier Rd crashes
* KiwiRail freight plans complement city and transport investment
* Motorists’ advocate wants focus on Roberts Line roundabout

Money had been released for the detailed design and consenting work, which would go out to tender shortly, while a budget was still to be secured for the actual construction.

It could be six to 12 months before the designs were completed.

The agency said it had decided to give priority to the Roberts Line intersection, while it would continue to monitor the other intersections on the 3.4 kilometre stretch of SH3-Napier Rd from Keith St to Stoney Creek Rd.

Palmerston North City Council chief executive Heather Shotter said the plan would help answer concerns people had held for many years.

The improvements would help overcome the safety problems that had arisen as urban development stretched out towards Ashhurst, while the road still had a state highway role.

City councillor Leonie Hapeta, who lived in Kelvin Grove until recently, said the decision on traffic lights was fantastic news.

“We

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Call made for safety improvements at ‘dangerous’ Ludlow roundabout

Councillor Vivienne Parry
Councillor Vivienne Parry

Lack of lighting, signage and faded road markings are among the problems at the mini-roundabout on Foldgate Lane in Ludlow which need to be addressed as “a matter of urgency”, according to Councillor Vivienne Parry.

She said: “This roundabout near ‘Pets are Us’ and the ‘Squirrel’ on Foldgate Lane has been in for some time now and there are still no signs to warn motorists or indicate who has right of way.

“The road markings are also worn. As a result, I’ve had a number of complaints about near misses at this roundabout.

“I know of one visiting motorist who told me he drove over it not realising that there was a roundabout there.”

‘Whole area much darker’

“Also the street lights covering this area have progressively ceased to function over the last few years making the whole area much darker after sunset.

“Given the number of pedestrians passing between the petrol station, pub, shops and nursing home this is making the whole area quite dangerous as the days start getting shorter.

“The light near the pedestrian crossing on Sheet Road near the junction with Foldgate Road has also failed.

“I have been pressing for some time to get these problems sorted and I have been promised that the lights will be repaired in the near future.

“However, Shropshire Council does need to get the signage and road markings issue sorted as a matter of urgency.

“They clearly need to identify the junction as a mini roundabout and state who has right of way.”

Shropshire Council has been contacted for a comment.

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