Readers Write: Clearing it up
The present undeveloped condition of State Route 28 is the cause of excessive speed and danger to pedestrians and bicyclists. To address these legitimate concerns is the imperative for the Core Improvement Project. But reducing the highways capacity is only one alternative and has very negative impacts related to traffic congestion and public health and safety. The alternative that retains the capacity of four lanes does not mean it will look like todays highway, or that the problems with the undeveloped roadway today will continue. Four-lane improvements include wide sidewalks, safe signalized intersections, and likely pedestrian signals at additional intersections. The finished product can be more beautiful than Tahoe Citys improvement project by defining the downtown with significant gateway improvements at Chipmunk from the east and Highway 267 from the west. Speed control can be designed in to the project with special signals that trigger red when the speed limit is exceeded, include a separate pedestrian phase, and physical treatments that aid the pedestrian (bulb outs) and define the commercial corridor. The proponents of the two through lanes with single lane roundabouts have chosen to demonize the four lane characteristic of todays highway rather than its undeveloped condition. All the evidence of speeding and lack of pedestrian safety is justification for the general improvement of the roadway that we all want. The choice of which alternative involves a comparison of the merits of each alternative on a broad perspective. TRPAs decision reflects that comparison. Demonizing four lanes confuses the poor condition of the existing, unimproved highway with the choice of alternatives to remedy todays conditions.