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Concord Hopes Ceramic Botts' Dots Will Make Streets Unfriendly For Sideshows

CONCORD (KPIX) - An East Bay city has come up with a new tactic to cut down on sideshow activity. They're called Botts' dots and are sometimes referred to as turtles or buttons. They are small ceramic domes that you normally see as lane dividers. If all goes smoothly, Botts' dots will be installed in the next couple of months throughout the city.

The county is focusing on the intersection of Alhambra Valley Road and Bear Creek Road. It's a very rural part of unincorporated Contra Costa County, which makes it hard for CHP to closely monitor.

"We have actually deterred some people before, caught some violations, and caught some sideshows in the act," said St. Brandon Correia with the California Highway Patrol. "But usually, by the time we get the calls to get out there, it's miles off our beaten path, off of Highway 4."

The CHP says while it's not the sideshow activity we typically see in other parts of the Bay Area. What they do see here needs to be stopped.

"If the County and the Board of Supervisors want to do those preventative measures, hey great, and we support them 100%," said Sgt. Correia.

To hopefully fix the problem, Contra Costa County's Public Works wants to install the 6 or 8-inch raised ceramic domes at the 4 approaches of the intersection, along the centerline striping and in the shoulder areas.

Monish Sen is the Senior Traffic Engineer for Contra Costa County Public Works.

"The regular Botts' dots that are there at certain locations throughout the county and certain jurisdictions. But these higher raised features we don't have at any other location," said Sen.

Public Works says they want the domes to become such an annoyance for sideshow participants that they stop doing them.

"Just to make them uncomfortable, that's just basically what we're trying to do," said Sen. "The whole point is, if you're spinning around and you hit these bumps, it should be enough of a deterrent that you'll be like, 'hey I don't really want to keep doing this.'"

The board only approved the environmental piece of this project. It still needs to go through a drafting and approval for the actual plan.

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