NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Driving to the store, in a walking friendly city

The Union editorial board, Leaders shouldn't walk away from developer's idea, April 12, 2005
The recent fender bender between developer Phil Carville and traffic planners should be regarded as nothing more than a bump in an important road.
First lets get the full disclosure out of the way, I am a Transportation Commissioner, and was in the mid 90s for two years. I am also a founding member of the Rural Transportation Committee of Intelligent Transportation Systems of America, when I was an Advanced Transportation Systems Strategic Planner for a large corporation.

I have been working with Dan Landon, for over 12 years, and have found him to be open and accepting of new ideas. He is also the most knowledgeable person on transportation issues in Nevada County, through his long experience in working with Caltrans and regional traffic engineering firms. He is the “go to guy” when public officials need advice on transportation issues.

While experts from out of town may have new ideas, they do not have the knowledge that Dan has obtained thru his experience in dealing with local transportation and planning issues.

I remember when Grass Valley was preparing to update their General Plan in the 90s, They invited an out of town expert to come and help craft a vision for Grass Valley. David M. told us how we should make Grass Valley a walking friendly city, by making it unfriendly to cars.

While this was a feel good idea, it failed to recognize that Grass Valley is the center of commerce for the Western County, and 72,000 people ( at the time, more now) live in the rural county, too far to walk to town. They drove to town for the things they need. If Grass Valley became a car unfriendly city, more people living in the rural county would just drive to Auburn, and Roseville for the things they need. Forget car unfriendly Grass Valley.

So, in the process of making Grass Valley a walking friendly city, let’s not forget all those folks that drive to Grass Valley to shop. Dan Landon has a clear vision of transportation growth and the solution we need to maintain our quality of life. Let’s listen to him, before we rush to adopt the ideas of an out of town expert, who has interesting ideas, but they may not fit with our needs.

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