Keep your eyes open as you head through Mission today, NEJC motorists: The recently installed traffic signal at Johnson Drive and Woodson is fully operational as of today.
Traffic engineers had initially expected the signal to be fully operational earlier this month, but a delay in the installation of the controller for the device pushed the go-live date to today. Regulations require that new signals are not allowed to go online on a Friday or a Monday, so the signal has been flashing red and acting as a four-way stop since late last week.
The city council voted in April to have a new signal installed at the intersection. Outgoing Mayor Steve Schowengerdt broke the four-four tie on the council, saying he believed the signal was necessary to ensure the safety of pedestrians in the area. Johnson Drive and Woodson sees heavy foot traffic from shoppers, people trying to get to the city pool and park on Martway, and people with special needs involved with The Mission Project.
A traffic signal had been in operation for years until 2014, when it was removed as part of the renovation of Johnson Drive. For that project to qualify for $2 million in federal funds, the designers had to agree to adhere to traffic engineer’s recommendations about where to place traffic signals. A traffic study conducted in 2011 found that pedestrian and traffic levels at the intersection did not warrant a signal.
The cost to have a signal reinstalled at the intersection was approximately $300,000.