Paso Robles is spending $25,000 to fix 58 illuminated street name signs on traffic signals citywide, after several years of putting off maintenance work around the city.
Staff estimates that 58 of the city's 69 total street signs on signals are not lighted because of deferred maintenance during the recession.
“We do not have an estimate of how long some have not been operational,” said Freda Berman, city maintenance services superintendent.
That’s prompted some complaints to the City Council from people saying it’s hard to see the signs at night, which can make nighttime navigation dangerous.
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“Illuminated street name signs improve sign visibility and legibility at all distances and in all conditions,” city staff say in their report to council.
One high-profile example is at the intersection of Spring and 13th streets downtown where all four street name signs don’t light up at night.
The city will work to repair each illuminated street name sign at a cost not to exceed $394 per location, with expenses to be billed on a time and material basis for each sign, according to city staff.
Each light repair is different and may require different parts and equipment, staff said. The city is now ordering parts and working to schedule the fixes, Berman said, and she expects that the signs will be repaired this summer.
The city stopped doing some maintenance tasks starting in 2008 as it made budget cutbacks during the recession. Last year, as the budget improved, Paso Robles started to add some maintenance services back such as street sweeping and replacing the library's roof.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council will also consider spending $142,065 to fix another obvious maintenance issue with a city facility – repairing the mounds of stucco that fell from Centennial Park Gymnasium’s large south-facing wall last fall.