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Planter at the end of Fair Oaks Blvd struck again

A sign posted behind the planter box at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Old Auburn Road is shown on May 30, following a collision at the site. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
Despite changes to the roadway implemented by the city, a planter at the problematic intersection of Fair Oaks Boulevard and Old Auburn Road was heavily damaged after another vehicle collision with the structure Monday night.

Citrus Heights Police Cpl. David Weissenfluh told The Sentinel in a phone call Thursday that the latest collision involved a 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Weissenfluh said a mechanical issue with the vehicle’s lane assist feature led the driver to over correct. No one was injured in the single-vehicle collision, and police said speed was not a factor.

The May 29 incident reportedly marks the 40th time a vehicle has veered off the roadway and into the barrier since a nearby resident began keeping count several years ago. A sign posted after most collisions keeps a tally for passers-by, often with comments added for humor.

The current sign reads “Lordy Lordy hit #40,” with a note saying it was “voted top three” in terms of damage to the planter.

The intersection is part of Phase One of the Old Auburn Road Complete Streets plan that aims to improve safety along the corridor between Fair Oaks Boulevard and Sunrise Boulevard.

In 2020, the city reduced the left turn lanes from northbound Fair Oaks Boulevard down to one lane in an effort to curb the number of vehicles colliding with the planter. The move has reduced the overall number of collisions at the intersection, Weissenfluh said.

“There’s been a marked decrease since it was re-engineered,” police said.

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