Funded by the Regional Council of Governments (SACOG), a new
roundabout in downtown Olivehurst is in its final stage of completion. Mary Jane Griego, as (then) Yuba County
Supervisor, sat on the SACOG board and drove this $710,000 project.
Located at the intersection of Olivehurst Avenue and
Powerline Road in Olivehurst, the project should wrap up soon--I noticed that
overhead street lights are being installed.
I’ve been hearing some criticism of this new roundabout, and
I have to say, I just don’t get it. I’m
reminded of the old saying, “Everyone is for progress, but no one is for
Beautification of Downtown Olivehurst
is Long Overdue
I remember coming to live and work in South Yuba County in
2004, and I recall seeing an area sadly in need of a facelift. There were many old, abandoned buildings and
other unsightly structures along this part of Olivehurst Avenue.
Most of those old dilapidated structures are gone now;
replaced by new retail businesses as the area has experienced some
rejuvenation. Most notable are the new
Rite Aid and H&R Block businesses that are visible as you enter Olivehurst
Avenue, coming off Highway 70.
Roundabout Enhances Safety at
Intersection of Olivehurst Avenue and Powerline Road
As important as the beautification of the commercial area of
Olivehurst is, the new roundabout is much more than just a pretty face. With several roads coming together at this
intersection in a very disjointed fashion, it has been a dangerous
Looking at Google’s Aerial view of the intersection before
roundabout, it’s not hard to see why drivers were often confused, and accidents
were common. In fact, local merchants have stated that it seemed there was an
accident nearly every day before the roundabout was built. Since the roundabout became usable, that has
not been the case.
The new roundabout alleviates the former confusion and
creates an intersection that is both functional and safe for drivers,
bicyclists and pedestrians alike. But,
since they are not common in our area, some drivers aren’t sure how to drive
Here is a great article by Rachel Rosenbaum in the Appeal
Democrat to help you learn to navigate them:
Safety: How to drive through roundabouts.
Give it a Whirl
As I see it, beautification and public safety are combined
and enhanced by this project. So before passing judgment, I invite all naysayers
to drive it. Yes, it may take a few times to get used to it, but I am confident
you will ultimately appreciate its benefit as both a visual and safety improvement
for the Olivehurst community. In my
opinion, that’s a win all around.