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Q&A: What are those unusual devices on top of stop signs?

A camera can be seen mounted atop a stop sign at Highland and Mariposa Avenues in Citrus Heights. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
Curious residents in Citrus Heights have noticed the recent appearance of unusual devices mounted atop poles on stop signs and street lights, prompting questions about their purpose.

The devices are part of a traffic study being conducted by the City of Citrus Heights, which uses cameras mounted on poles to collect time-of-day information on the number of vehicles passing through the roadway and their direction of travel, according to City Engineer Leslie Blomquist.

The devices were seen at several locations along Mariposa Avenue, part of 20 locations where more traffic data was determined to be needed, according to Blomquist. Most of the devices were installed on June 12 and taken down on June 16, with other locations are being monitored June 19 through June 23, according to the city.

The data collection is part of the city’s effort to make infrastructure improvements a priority, Blomquist said. A total of $60,000 was allocated to a Multi Modal Transportation Safety Program (MMTSP) in Citrus Heights, with the MMTSP process being used to identify the 20 locations prioritized for traffic data collection. Money for that program comes from the Measure A Traffic Safety and Redflex red light camera funds, she said.

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