Olivehurst Gets First Traffic Light

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OLIVEHURST -- It was a milestone of sorts when Olivehurst, an unincorporated community of 11,000 residents four miles south of Marysville, began operating its very first traffic light.

The area has been known as an economically depressed area for years, and it's only recently seen some increase in commercial activity.

The new traffic signal at the corner of Olivehurst Avenue and McGowan Parkway is directly in front of Olivehurst Elementary School. Many students live in the newer River Glen housing development across the street.

"We need to keep our children safe more than anything," said Christina Herrera, whose daughter attends the school.

While the first traffic signal in growing communities are often situated on the main commercial street, this one was designed for future growth and the protection of student pedestrians.

It's part of a larger infrastructure upgrade that includes new sidewalks and a drainage system.

"We stepped to another level of development, so this kind of symbolizes that," said Yuba County Supervisor Mary Jane Griego who helped leverage grant money from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments for the upgrades.

Not everyone is happy with the new light, which required removing a crosswalk at mid-block for school kids.

The crosswalk was moved to a four-way intersection to the east where parents and school staff complain of more traffic congestion.

The new flow of pedestrians also requires more crossing guards. The school district says it is trying to work with the county to alleviate safety concerns.

But it appears the new light will be a fixture as the area grows.

Longtime resident Albert Davis thinks more signals are needed for Olivehurst.

"It keeps growing, so the more it grows the better it will get," said Davis.