Improve downtown entrance |

Improve downtown entrance

The intersection of East Main Street and Idaho-Maryland Road is congested, and is rightly being redesigned. The Union has reported (Jan. 28) that a new proposal is being studied to “channelize traffic from the Idaho-Maryland onramp to the Bennett Street off-ramp and then along the frontage road to … the South Auburn onramp.”

Combining all of this freeway traffic and funneling it through the gateway to Grass Valley’s historic downtown is the wrong solution.

With the overhead freeway and unsightly maze of streets intersecting at South Auburn, the so-called “devil’s triangle” is already a dangerous place to drive and especially to walk. This barren stretch of asphalt and concrete does not invite visitors to get out of their cars and spend time (and money) downtown. The “channelizing” proposal would unwisely shift the freeway-bound congestion to surface streets bordering downtown, impacting the pedestrian-friendly livability of Grass Valley.

I commend the Transportation Commission for leaving “no stone unturned,” but please turn this flawed “stone” back over. Let’s resolve the congested intersection and get the freeway traffic directly onto the freeway where it belongs. We need to improve, rather than worsen, the entrance to Grass Valley’s historic and economically vital downtown.

Cliff Brown

Grass Valley

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