New Library, State-of-Art Traffic Lights, Lots of New Stop Signs – in 1949

Front-page news in El Cerrito on this day in 1949 included the dedication of the $35,000 library, a profusion of traffic control devices, and the announcement that Rev. Dr. Randolph Crump Miller will preach on "The Evil that Goodness Does."

The now yellowed front page of the weekly El Cerrito Journal for today, March 3, in 1949 offers a snapshot of our community in its post-war growth years. Here are some of the actual headlines from the paper's front page, followed by our brief summaries of the articles:

Safety Report
Lauded by City

The City Council offered unanimous endorsement of the city Safety Commission recommendations for adding a mulitude of stop signs across the city, paving of the remainder of Ashbury Avenue and relocation of the bus line from Albermarle Street to Ashbury. Following a presentation featuring a colored map by commission chairman Warren H. Kinney, the council supported the installation of eight stop signs on San Pablo Avenue, 22 stop signs on Barrett Avenue, and one sign at Terrace Drive and The Arlington.

Traffic Lights Now on
At Potrero and Highway

Elaborate four-way traffic signals have been installed at Potrero Avenue and Eastshore Highway, resulting in the nearly complete removal of traffic dangers at the intersection, according to the city's engineer, R.R. Randall and engineers from the State Highway Department. The signals are designed so that traffic on the highway has a green light, until a car approaching on Potero contacts an electrically controlled pressure bar. Randall cautioned that cars on Potrero should allow time for the signal to change before proceeding into the intersection. Similarly pedestrians pressing the buttons on each corner to change the light were urged to wait until the signal changes before crosssing.

Dedication of
El Cerrito Library
Marks Progress

About 200 people, including State Librarian Mabel L. Gillis, turned out for the dedication of El Cerrito's new $35,000 library on Sunday afternoon. The president of the El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce, Ira E. Scott, praised the City Council for providing a cultural contribution second to none in the area. He also said it had been difficult to secure the limited funds from a restricted budget. Among the highlights was the presentation of a desk clock to Miss Faye Breneman, pioneering librarian.

Reverend Miller Picks Sunday Sermon

The Rev. Dr. Randolph Crump Miller will deliver a sermon on "The Evil that Goodness Does" at the 11 a.m. services Sunday at St. Albans Episcopal Church. The services at the church on Washington and Curtis streets will include Holy Communion since it will be the first Sunday in Lent.

  • Click for other vignettes of El Cerrito history. You can find some back issues of the El Cerrito Journal at the Shadi Historical Room at City Hall, open to the public on the third Thursday of each month, 4:30-6 p.m.


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