TULARE, California (KSEE) – Tulare will soon be able to start cleaning up the homeless encampments on Highway 99 following a number of complaints to the state government.
In November, Tulare’s former Mayor Jose Sigala sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom about the growing homeless population on a section of Highway 99 near Prosperity Avenue.
The letter described the highway as one of the “most dangerous highways in the country”, and that there was a “severe threat of accident and bodily harm.”
On Feb. 5, the CHP says a driver hit and killed a homeless man who was crossing the same portion of Highway 99.
During the Tulare City Council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Dennis Mederos announced Caltrans will be working with the city to clear the encampments from this section of the highway – but added that it is disappointing that it took a loss of life for action to be taken.
“Despite our request to Caltrans and the state that something needs to be done,” said Mayor Dennis Mederos. “Virtually nothing has been done.”
The city does not have jurisdiction over the highways as they are managed by the state.
“There is a problem that needs to be dealt with before other people die in a similar situation,” said Mederos.