Five years have passed and nothing has changed
The following letter was published in The Union September 30, 1999.
Cheaper traffic solutions to consider (again)
In 1995, at the request of Gene Haroldsen, Grass Valley city administrator, I reviewed the Nevada County Sub-Regional Transportation Study issued in June 1994 and made some recommendations to Mr. Haroldsen. Several of those have been implemented, including our first modern roundabout. (Please don’t call them traffic circles.) To my knowledge, two recommendations I thought very worthy have not been considered.
The first suggestion concerned traffic at the downtown post office. I observed that most of the auto traffic at the post office is generated by people picking up mail, not people using the window services. It surprised me that there are 3,580 post office boxes available! On average, between 2,500 and 2,600 are rented. My suggestion was to move as many boxes as possible to remote locations. This would accomplish two things – put the boxes closer to where people live, and, of course, cut down on traffic at the post office.
My second suggestion concerned the proposed interchange now contemplated at Dorsey Drive and the freeway. I suggested that as an interim measure, a southbound on-ramp and a northbound off-ramp be installed at that location.
This could be done in a short time at minimum expense with no additional right-of-way takings. It would alleviate a great deal of traffic that clogs East Main Street between Idaho Maryland and Dorsey at certain hours of the day. I realize it would be difficult to get Caltrans to agree to this. However, there are already precedents for it at Sacramento Street and Broad Street in Nevada City. Dorsey should not have to be widened. Sacramento, Broad, and Gold Flat handle the traffic nicely with just two lanes over the freeway.
Since I wrote that letter more than five years ago, nothing has been done and traffic has gotten worse at the post office and East Main/Idaho Maryland. I checked with post office personnel, and there are about 2,800 boxes rented today. I gather from Becky Trout’s recent article on the post office that maybe the postmaster is ready for a change. I’ve been told repeatedly that Caltrans would never go for a partial separation at Dorsey. But times have changed. I think if enough publicity is given to the idea, this solid Republican county could convince the governor to back it. I would even go for half a loaf today, a northbound off-ramp at Dorsey.
Albert Porter is a resident of Grass Valley and a retired civil and traffic engineer.
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