The Student News Site of Bear River High School

The Current

The Current

The Current

Editorial: Hwy 49 petition enhances safety among Bruins

Traffic on Highway 49 just outside Auburn. Photo by Bella Batula

Bear River High School is a driving force in promoting the “Fix Highway 49” petition.

As well as many students and staff members on campus, we at The Current strongly support the “Fix Highway 49” Petition.

Staff members talked about how they are in favor of roadway improvements and raising safety on Highway 49.

“Yes, I signed the petition,” said Dance Teacher Joyce Gouveia. “I have driven that road for 21 years and the amount of people and unsafe driving has increased. One student of mine died years ago on that road and it was a very traumatic experience. We performed a dance in her honor.”

“I support any changes to Highway 49,” said Principal Amy Besler. “It will make it safer and it seems obvious that a median would do this, as it would significantly lessen head-on collisions, which are often fatal.”

Students on campus also agree with the petition and want to find a way to prevent fatal accidents.

“I think the median barrier is a good idea to prevent more fatal and head-on accidents,” said Bridgitte Anderson, a senior. “In 2015, I was in a crash just before Lime Kiln Road on Highway 49, and I am lucky to still be alive today.”

“As being a part of Leadership, we were in charge of getting as many signatures from students throughout the school and community,” said Grace Sypnicki, a senior. “I drive 49 everyday to school, and I am in favor of the petition in making it safer.”

On Wednesday, March 22, the community gathered in Bear River’s MPR for the Highway 49 Community Safety Meeting to discuss potential solutions to decrease collisions on Highway 49. Caltrans officers and safety investigators report that there have been 577 collisions on Highway 49 between 2010-2014. Officials said the main cause of collisions are people driving too fast for roadway conditions.

According to Caltrans officials, the installation of a center median, from Dry Creek Road to McKnight Way, has been discussed but it may cause more harm than good.

Deborah Jones is a member of the community and is very dedicated to creating a safe highway.

“Ideally, we would love to have a center divider from Dry Creek Road all the way up to McKnight Way,” said Jones. “But when you see all the statistics of how many driveways there are on the highway, it creates a problem.”

Caltrans Public Information Officer Liza Whitmore suggested that the community’s involvement is important for this issue to be fixed.

“It’s extremely important to engage the community, get feedback, and educate them on possible options,” she said. “It’s a valuable opportunity.”

Amanda Potts, Bear River’s ASB President, spoke at the meeting about how the collisions on Highway 49 impact Bruins.

“We have had several Bear River students be in car crashes on Highway 49 and it has taken a toll on students,” she said.

Community members offered various ideas to improve the safety on Hwy 49. Bill McAnally, from Roamin’ Angels and Riebes, talked at the gathering about offering defensive driving lessons at Bill McAnally Racing in Roseville, to all students within the county who obtain a permit or license.

“There are training driving skills for students, offering two training sessions in Roseville March 27 in the morning,” he said. “The course costs $49, but if the student shows up and completes the entire course, they get the $49 back.”

We at The Current believe that the “Fix Highway 49” petition is a huge step towards creating a safer community.

Donate to The Current

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bear River High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Current

Activate Search
Editorial: Hwy 49 petition enhances safety among Bruins