Hayward Retiming Traffic Lights to Slow Down Drivers in Downtown Area

Starting Wednesday, drivers in Hayward are going to be seeing a lot more red

Too many drivers like to put the pedal a little bit too close to the metal when cutting through one town in the East Bay.

Starting Wednesday, drivers in Hayward are going to be seeing a lot more red.

The city has received a number of complaints from pedestrians, saying that it's too dangerous to cross the downtown areas of A Street, Foothill and Mission boulevards. The problem is especially known on Mission Boulevard, where traffic lights are timed such that drivers can catch most, if not all of the greens and blast through the 25 mph speed limit.

Add the fact that there are four lanes of traffic. It can be quite daunting for someone walking on the sidewalk or trying to use the crosswalk.

The city on Wednesday is retiming the traffic lights in the area so that drivers hit more reds and have less runway to speed. The city said there are about 20 traffic signals in question all located along the so-called downtown loop.

The city is tweaking the signals along A Street between Mission and Foothill boulevards. And on both Mission and Foothill, between A Street and Fletcher Lane.

The city is also hoping that these measure aimed at calming traffic will also discourage commuters from using downtown as a shortcut around Interstate 880 on their way to and from work.

"We've heard from those commuters who pass through already and they are like 'what are you doing? I like speeding through Hayward, I like going as fast as I can and not stopping.' We're not trying to accommodate those individuals," said Fred Kelley, Hayward's transportation manager.

The city is retiming the lights as part of a pilot program and will revise if necessary along the way. City officials will evaluate the program after three months.

The city is also looking at long-term solutions to calm the traffic in downtown, including converting some lanes to bike or transit only. The city is also looking for feedback and has set up a survey on its website:

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