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Antiquated ‘no U-turn’ signs in Citrus Heights to be taken down

A ‘no U-turn sign on Sunrise Boulevard tells drivers times when U-turns are currently banned. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
Ever wonder why those “No U-turn” signs appear at Citrus Heights intersections barring U-turns between certain hours of the night?

Following remarks about the signage during a City Council meeting last month by Councilman Bret Daniels, the city manager confirmed the signs will be removed.

City Manager Christopher Boyd told The Sentinel that the signs won’t be taken down immediately, but will be removed in the coming months as part of the city’s routine maintenance, in order to control costs. He said each sign would also be assessed before removal as to whether it still serves any legitimate purpose.

Daniels had first brought up the issue after he said he recently was driving on Greenback Lane after 9 p.m. and needed to turn around, but came across one of the signs barring U-turns during night hours. Calling the signage “relic signs from a time before,” the councilman said the signs may have once helped stop cruising, but now only cause problems for drivers.

“When we force people to make these turns — obviously it’s not necessary, for one thing — it also forces us to go into a neighborhood sometimes and make a U-turn of some kind; that’s kind of dangerous,” said Daniels. “It forces us to go into shopping centers and create more unnecessary wear and tear in their shopping centers, and again, I think it’s just lost its purpose.”

City officials said the signs were put up by the county prior to Citrus Heights becoming a city in 1997. The signs are believed to have been intended to restrict cruising, which was once popular.

Most of the U-turn signs are located along Sunrise Boulevard near Greenback Lane, which was an area where Daniels told The Sentinel he recalled “bumper to bumper” traffic on Friday and Saturday nights during the 1970s due to cruising. “That was the cruising spot,” he said.

At least one U-turn sign on Sunrise Boulevard at Sayonara Drive was previously removed, due to inconveniences caused to residents of a nearby mobile home park. Other cities, like Castro Valley in 2005, have also taken action to take down similar U-turn signs.

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