The Aug. 5 edition of the Sierra Sun included a full-page advertisement sponsored by the Friends of Truckee showing an Alternate Circulation Plan for the Railyard Project.

As one of the consultants that worked on the Railyard Master Plan for the last five years, I feel it is important that readers understand all of the criteria that went into the development of the street and circulation plan approved by the Town Council.

The design team of Planners, Landscape Architects, Building Architects, Civil Engineers and Traffic Engineers were tasked with seven primary goals:

• provide Glenshire Residents with a route to downtown through the railyard to eliminate the need to make a left turn from Glenshire Drive on to Donner Pass Road;

• ensure truck deliveries to the lumber yard were not impeded by intersection geometry and the private properties at the intersection of Donner Pass Road and Church Street were not affected;

• create a block-structure similar to the existing downtown;

• develop street standards (width, geometry, parking and bike lanes) that provide traffic calming and slower speeds but allow the use of full-size snow removal equipment and access for the largest vehicles including fire trucks.

• reserve right-of-way widths that are sufficient to meet current and future intersection geometry requirements.

• provide a seamless and pedestrian friendly transition between the railyard and Commercial Row. This meant a continuous line-of-sight from one end to the other, straight sidewalks and a building frontage line that is consistent with the existing downtown.

• allow sufficient space for the construction of the hotel and theater blocks as close to the existing downtown as possible to reinforce the link between Commercial Row and the railyard.

I am a proponent of roundabouts when the number of vehicles travelling through an intersection warrants the installation; the Project’s extensive traffic study did not identify the need for intersection controls in the railyard using the Town’s criteria.

The Environmental Impact Report did identify the need to make improvements at nine other area intersections and the developer is obligated to do that work.

I met with a representative of The Friends of Truckee twice and its traffic-roundabout consultant to review the goals and discuss possible alternatives; unfortunately, in my opinion, the plan advertised in last Wednesday’s Sierra Sun does not satisfy all seven criteria.

I am confident that once readers are aware of the guidelines used to develop the railyard’s street and circulation configuration they will decide the approved plan is best for Truckee.

http://www.sierrasun.com/article/20090811/OPINION/908119990&parentprofile=search