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Editorial: Widen Hwy 4 east of Antioch for safety

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  • 1/4 Contra Costa Times
    Published Friday, January 4, 2002, in the Contra Costa Times Editorial For safety s sake, widen Highway 4 to east of Antioch Highway 4, far East County s main
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 4, 2002
      Published Friday, January 4, 2002, in the Contra Costa Times

      Editorial

      For safety's sake, widen Highway 4 to east of Antioch

      Highway 4, far East County's main street, connects Oakley, Brentwood,
      Byron and Discovery Bay to Central County and to the valley cities of
      Stockton and Manteca. The road that served the farming communities of
      the past needs to be updated, straightened and widened to serve the
      needs of today's modern lifestyle.

      One of the places where the two-lane road's inadequacy is so well
      demonstrated is the short route from Brentwood to Discovery Bay.

      Recent statistics released from the office of state Sen. Tom
      Torlakson, D-Antioch, show that in the period from Jan. 1, 2001, to
      mid-December, there were 67 accidents, more than one accident per
      week.

      The worst accident this year occurred just outside of Discovery Bay
      that claimed the lives of two Antioch residents and severely injured
      other relatives returning from a family outing to Disneyland.

      Another accident involved Discovery Bay resident David Piepho, the
      chairman of the Discovery Bay town council. Piepho injured both legs
      so that he will be unable to work as a firefighter for six months.

      At Piepho's instigation, Torlakson, Caltrans and the California
      Highway Patrol will look at this particular stretch of Highway 4 that
      shows a 76 percent increase in accidents from the previous year.

      It's about time. Too many people have died or had their lives altered
      because of accidents on that road.

      But Highway 4, once a back-door shortcut to Stockton, has become a
      major commute route for the booming communities of far East County.
      There is a continuous stream of trucks and cars at all times of the
      day, frustrating drivers and endangering pedestrians.

      Even if the so-called bypass is completed, connecting Balfour Road
      with Highway 4, it will still be a two-lane road. Already, new
      businesses and shopping centers are planning to locate along that yet-
      to-be-built roadway. These retail and business centers will only add
      more traffic to the daily traffic grind commuters have to endure on
      our local roads.

      While the stretch of Highway 4 through Pittsburg and Antioch has
      garnered most of the attention of traffic planners, widening up to
      eight lanes at some spots, it is time Caltrans' road engineers take a
      serious look at the entire stretch of Highway 4 east of Antioch.
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