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February 18, 2016

Community Update by Pat Milos
Community Development Director

The 100th anniversary of the first electric traffic light system was marked on 5 August 2014. The first signal was installed on the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio, and had red and green lights and a buzzer to provide a warning that the colors were about the change. The manually operated system allowed Police and Fire crews to control the signals in case of emergencies.

In Detroit, William Potts, a Police Officer, decided to do something about the increasing number of automobiles, trucks, carts, horses and buggies on the roads. He looked to adapt railroad signals to be used on streets and developed a system with red, amber and green lights. He made the first four-way three colored traffic system, and it was installed on the Woodward and Michigan Avenues in Detroit in 1920. A year later there were 15 automatic light systems within the City.

Spring ahead almost 100 years and no one can say for sure how many traffic signals actually exist in the United States today but a 2004 Institute of Transportation Engineers project, "Signal Timing Practices and Procedures: State of the Practice", included a survey of a large number of jurisdictions of all sizes, to estimate the total number of signalized intersections in the U.S. That report concluded that a reasonable "rule of thumb" is one signalized intersection per 1,000 of population. That would mean that, as the U.S. has an estimated 2012 population of 314 million, we've also got over 300,000 signals in the U.S.

Cathedral City has 45 signalized intersections as well as several “active crosswalks” located throughout the 22 square miles of the City. These Traffic signals operate 24 hours a day 365 days a year, taking this into consideration, as well as our unusually hot 100 plus degree  summer temperatures, one begins to have an appreciation of how efficient and durable today’s equipment has become. The City conducts a preventative maintenance inspection program monthly on each signal including an operational check of all phased movements, pedestrian and motor, to insure that our systems are performing properly.

For the most part the signals are trouble free and quite reliable and the City has been able to upgrade our signals using some of the latest technologies in video vehicle detection, wireless signal communication and synchronization, as well as cost efficient and sustainable LED (light emitting diode) retrofits making them even more effective and efficient.

This all sounds good until you encounter a signal malfunction during your commute or a trip to the store. There are few things in American life more frustrating than sitting at a red light for 40 seconds when the signals are not working properly or trying to navigate a busy intersection when the red lights are in “flash mode”. We, at the City recognize this and do our collective best to insure that our systems perform as flawlessly as possible, but we also recognize that they occasionally malfunction. Each signalized  intersection is professionally engineered and  can have up to eight phases of traffic and pedestrian movement and some have in excess of 50 detection units, the more the components the more the possibility of error.

When you encounter a traffic signal that does not seem to be functioning correctly or have concerns with pavement markings or other traffic management related issues, please contact the City of Cathedral City Public Works Department  or the City Traffic Manager as soon as convenient by calling  760-770-0369 or 760-770-0350. You may also send an e-mail directly to Public Works Manager, dpressgrove@cathedralcity.gov or the City Traffic Manager rmohler@cathedralcity.gov. The City staff will respond to the intersection as soon as possible. In most cases we can fix the issue on the spot but in some instances the problem is more complex and will require some diagnostic testing in order to identify the problem and repair it. This process can be very frustrating and time consuming not only for the signal technician but also for the motoring public.

Please help us by reporting signal and traffic issues and concerns as soon as possible, in many ways you are the best problem detectors available. City Staff will do our best to address the problem in as timely a manner as possible.

Upcoming Events

Throwback Thursdays with Jersey Shore

Throwback Thursdays with Jersey Shore

Back by popular demand, "Throwback Thursdays with Jersey Shore" returns for a 10-week run of shows starting January 21, 2016. If you haven't  attended the show before it's all about audience participation that makes TBT with Jersey Shore – the best camp in the Coachella Valley.   The show starts at 7:00 pm at the Desert Cinemas UltraMAX Theatre in …

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C.O.D. Street Fair in Downtown Cathedral City

C.O.D. Street Fair in Downtown Cathedral City

West Valley Wednesdays! The College of the Desert Alumni Association brings its popular Street Fair to Downtown Cathedral City on the 1st Wednesday of each month from 4 pm to 8 pm. The C.O.D. Street Fair has operated on the weekends for decades at the main campus of College of the Desert in Palm Desert.  Now, Street Fair is offering …

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Movies in the Park

Movies in the Park

Movies in the Park at Panorama Park, Cathedral City, CA

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Identity Theft Shred Event

Identity Theft Shred Event

To help STOP identity theft and as a service to its residents, the City of Cathedral City is hosting FREE Document Shredding Events. The Shredding Events are the first Saturday of the month October thru May each year (except January 2016).  Arrive early – once the shredding truck is filled to capacity the event will end.   For more information, …

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Cathedral City Cove Art Party for Children & Elders

Cathedral City Cove Art Party for Children & Elders

Children's Art Party for children and elders. The SCRAP Gallery and the Agnes Pelton Society hosts the Children and Elders monthly Art Party at the Cathedral Center, 37-171 W. Buddy Rogers Ave., on the Second Saturday of each month from 1-3 PM.   Admission is free. Participants create art pieces made of recyclable materials and also meet and work with …

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Friends of the Library - Pancake Fundraiser by Applebee's

Friends of the Library - Pancake Fundraiser by Applebee's

Bring the family and join Friends of the Library for a Pancake Fundraiser by Applebee's Restaurant that will help support programs and services at the Cathedral City Library.  Monies raised will help fund programs such as the children's summer reading program, holiday events for children, and ESL classes as well as purchasing books to keep our shelves well stocked.

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5th Annual Cathedral City Cove Home Tour of Historic and Artists' Homes

5th Annual Cathedral City Cove Home Tour of Historic and Artists' Homes

The City of Cathedral City is proud to sponsor the Agnes Pelton Society's "5th Annual Cathedral City Cove Home Tour of Historic and Artists Homes" on Sunday, February 28 from 11 am to 3 pm.  The tour allows you to visit the historic homes located in the Cathedral Cove neighborhood which was settled in 1920s and formerly named "Cathedral Village." …

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Cathedral City LGBT Days

Cathedral City LGBT Days

Here's the latest promo:  Pictures from Last Year: http://www.discovercathedralcity.com/diversity/   Easter Weekend, March 25-27, 2016 Join us for the the First Pride Event of the year at the “Cathedral City LGBT Days” on Easter Weekend, March 25-27, 2016.  Not your typical Pride event, this event promises to be interactive, festive, and OUTrageous! More details will be forthcoming, but here’s a …

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Passport to Health: Health Fair and Glo Run / Walk

Passport to Health: Health Fair and Glo Run / Walk

Get Ready for the Health Fair and Health Glo Fun Run / Walk - Cathedral City, May 7, 2015 HEALTH GLO FUN RUN-WALK event, taking place on May 7, 2015, in conjunction with the Cathedral City Rotary Health Fair. Produced by the Foundation for the Palm Springs Unified School District, the run/walk event is a way for the community to …

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