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TRPA Makes Uninformed Decision on Three-Lane Option in Kings Beach

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Tahoe Regional Planning Agency's (TRPA) decision to throw out the three-lane highway option for Kings Beach flies in the face of logic, progress and the general good of the businesses and residents of Kings Beach. I urge the public to demand that TRPA reconsider the KBCCIP Hybrid immediately for the following reasons:

• Residents of Kings Beach have worked on this issue for years and voted overwhelmingly in support of three lanes.
• Main Street property owners in Kings Beach have been polled and a decisive majority support three lanes.
• The two most significant private sector investors in Kings Beach support three lanes.
• Placer County supports three lanes, noting that roundabouts with narrow crossings are statistically safer than traffic lights with multi-lane crossings.
• In an unusual example of agency unity, Caltrans accepts three lanes.
• Law enforcement agencies have stated that the three-lane option makes traffic safety easier to enforce.
• The three-lane option includes traffic calming mitigation measures for the grid neighborhood. The four-lane option does not.
• The Kings Beach residents who were organized, bussed, and (some) paid to stand up against the three-lane option did not attend previous informational meetings and were not told by organizers that the four-lane option is statistically more dangerous than the three-lane option and it does not include traffic calming mitigation for the grid neighborhood.
• Pedestrians cross at multiple points of the highway. The three-lane option slows traffic to make crossing less dangerous along the entire project area. The four-lane option with timed lights increases the danger of crossing in all but the two new crossing areas.
• The majority of serious and fatal pedestrian accidents in Kings Beach have occurred when one car stops to allow a pedestrian to cross and a car in the next lane speeds by in the same direction. Three times as many accidents occur in this one-mile stretch of road than anywhere else on California roads.
• The four-lane option creates a freeway-width barrier that cuts the community in half and disconnects the businesses from each other.
• The combination of a wider roadway and speeding cars (when the light is green) will squelch outdoor business and sidewalk activity.
• The three-lane option includes a center turn lane, making it easier for motorists to visit business on the other side of the street.
• Roundabouts in the three-lane option allow a safer left turn at intersections and eliminate the possibility of head-on auto collisions.
• The four-lane option significantly increases the amount of paving and sediment pollution into the lake. The three-lane option decreases paving and lake pollution, a choice consistent with TRPA's mission.
• The three-lane option earns an extra TRPA threshold point, which is very hard to do.
• The three-lane option will take one year to construct, while the four-lane option will disrupt traffic, the neighborhood and the environment for two years.
• TRPA did not consider the negative points of the four-lane option before dismissing the three-lane option.
• Many of the TRPA members did not appear to be familiar with existing Kings Beach problems or the specifics of plans to fix the problems, and they voted without this knowledge.
• Two members of the TRPA cowed the others into making this decision late in the evening without much chance for the other members to understand the issue or contribute to the decision.

The overwhelming number of residents, agency employees and even middle school students who have spent the time to learn about the issues and specifics of the options, support three lanes. Please familiarize yourselves with the issues and the plans and consider the many years of hard work by the local agencies and hundreds of concerned residents of Kings Beach that culminated in the support of the three-lane option.

Sincerely,
Carina Cutler, Kings Beach Grid Resident

 
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February 14, 2019