My Turn: Dont undermine the Kings Beach core project
I am a resident of the grid in Kings Beach and a proponent of Alternative 4. The public process has been very open and I have been educating myself for almost three years now as this is a major decision that will change the town. None of the alternatives address all the concerns of the community, however, Alternative 4 will create the utmost capability for the pedestrian safety and economic benefits while allowing optimum traffic flow with limited or no on-street parking. It best achieves the purpose and goal of the project and is adaptable to the specific needs of the community. There are countless studies, towns, examples of how this works. It is called walkability and unfortunately is not defined well within the environment impact report. I have provided some interesting links below. The EIR does point out, however, that wider sidewalks can provide greater economic benefit to the community. To some this seems counter intuitive. There have been some undercurrents in the community that are attempting (whether they realize or not) to undermine the purpose of the project pedestrian and bicycle mobility and economic benefit. The shift has been entirely based on traffic which cannot be fully mitigated in any alternative. To have on-street parking sit empty all summer will benefit no-one.Lets celebrate walking and the lake, not the automobile. We live here 52 weeks of the year and should not have to suffer the consequences of a brief summer peak. Unfortunately there have also been attempts to undermine the Placer County public process to date. To dishonor the hundreds of public comments collected to date would be catastrophic and would set a bad precedent. Polls by various community groups, Pathway 2007 and the recent Sierra Business Council meetings are all consistent in identifying the need for a walkable community. I would like to simply say that Kings Beach has incredible potential, and it requires a future vision and careful planning by all stakeholders to reach that potential. The public at large and agencies need to educate themselves heavily to understand what is at stake. As a pedestrian-oriented project I have provided some links below that can help everyone understand how walkability works in conjunction with traffic. Together we can all help make Kings Beach a model for a sustainable Lake Tahoe. The public process is on-going and let your voice be heard. Check out: http://www.lgc.org; http://www.roundaboutsusa.com; http://www.alaskaroundabouts.com; http://www.pedestrianfriendly.com; http://www.walksacramento.org/livable.html; http://www.walkable.org/library.htmThe last two have a bunch of great articles.Michael Lefrancois is a Kings Beach resident.
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