My Turn: Making a stand against future gridlock in Kings Beach
Recently, I voted against spending $45 million to make traffic worse in Kings Beach. As I said to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, For the life of me I dont understand why we are going to spend $45 million to make traffic worse, when elsewhere we are spending hundreds of millions to make it better. (Sierra Sun, July 23, 2008) I believe we need to prevent future gridlock in all of Placer County and the Tahoe region; on Interstate 80 as well as on Highways 49 and 65. The citizens of Placer County and the nation cannot have every community creating its boutique traffic jams. Thats the way some communities die or just fade away.It took the unprecedented action of removing me on TRPA to move the three-lane, gridlock-creating, hybrid-alternative along. The 4-1 Board of Supervisors vote in support of the hybrid alternative will now move forward against my prior stated objections over gridlock and safety issues. The recommendations of Caltrans, California Highway Patrol, the Placer County Sheriffs Department, Senator Dave Cox and former Senator Tim Leslie against the hybrid gridlock were also dismissed. Now Kings Beach will move on the path chosen. I supported the four-lane alternative because it caused no new harm to traffic and it would have improved the quality of water flowing into Lake Tahoe. With the three-lane hybrid, TRPA would be required to show over-riding consideration to findings of significant impacts on traffic that are unavoidable and unmitagatable unfixable gridlock. No such findings are required with the four-lane alternative.During the long public process and from reading the projects environmental impact report I learned, among other things, that the three-lane option could divert thousands of cars to the back-street grid placing our families and children in harms way of drivers trying to bypass main street traffic jams. Despite vociferous dissent, I could not, in good conscience, vote for the three-lane hybrid when the alternative plans were safer for residents. Others voted otherwise. Now the important part is that we move on. It is now important to the Kings Beach community to move forward. Kings Beach now has a plan supported by the Placer County planning staff and a majority of the Placer County Board of Supervisors. King Beach deserves beautification, improved water quality and economic vitality.Will recent decisions impact my re-election? I told the Sierra Sun, I didnt do it to affect whether or not Im reelected whether it helped or hurt Im elected to do whats right. Im supposed to make decisions that are good for the community and thats what I feel I did. As your supervisor I will not shrink from making difficult decisions that are a part of my job as your elected representative. I was elected to represent all of the people and all of the communities within the 5th District, not just groups who speak the loudest and longest. Bruce Kranz is the 5th District supervisor for Placer County.