My Turn: No roundabout for Sierra College opens up a Pandora’s Box
I am a very concerned citizen and I am somewhat baffled by the position that the Town of Truckee council and staff have taken on allowing Sierra College to install a left hand turn pocket on State Route 89 south to accommodate access into the new campus.
This decision is not consistent with what the town required of other major development in our town. I can say without a doubt, that if this project were a private development the town would require a roundabout. I believe that the town may be opening a Pandora’s Box here. How can they legally require a roundabout for developments and not another?
The Town of Truckee just spent $4 million on roundabouts so that there would be no traffic stop signals on Interstate 80 and SR 89. the Town of Truckee required two roundabouts for Planned Community Two on SR 89 south, and a roundabout on Brockway Road. The Town of Truckee will require a roundabout for the Hilltop development. I can almost bet that the town will require roundabouts for the Railyard development.
The Truckee Planning Commission has now made a recommendation to make Deerfield Drive a connector for Planed Community One. The town is spending substantial amounts of taxpayer’s money to improve traffic circulation. Sierra College is now part of the problem. Sierra College should be part of the solution.
The college’s request for a turn pocket, in my humble opinion, is noting more that a “two-dollar Band-Aide for a million-dollar fix.” I understand the problem with funding. I believe that it is in the best interest of this region that Sierra College is built as soon as possible.
Therefore, I believe that the Sierra College should be allowed to build a left-hand turn pocket as an alternative to a roundabout. With that said, I believe that the Sierra College Board should enter into an agreement with the Town of Truckee to partner and share cost with all parties concerned when Deerfield Drive is made a roundabout.
It is a common practice for Caltrans to plow the snow during the winter into the
pedestrian/cyclist right of way during the winter.
This practice forces the pedestrian/cyclist into the street. They have to walk/cycle within inches of the vehicular traffic. It is my understanding that Sierra College is required to install a footbridge over Donner Creek. It is my understanding that Sierra College will not clear that bridge of snow. This makes on sense to me and is nothing more than a waste of taxpayer funds to meet a mitigated requirement. I would like to request that Sierra College find an alternative solution and save those funds for the roundabout.