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, November 29, 2005

Blogging the Town Hall Meeting on Comcast Channel 14.

Rather than go down to GV Town Hall meeting to night, I chose to watch the proceeding from my wife’s sewing room, the only room in the house we have Comcast Channel 14. Just prior to the meeting break, Ellen brought me a bowl of ice cream. You do you not get that kind of service in City Hall Chambers.

The meeting opened with a series of reports including The Traffic Safety Plan, NCTC Regional Transportation Improvement Plan, How Traffic analysis is done, and why GV needs it’s own traffic model.

This segment was followed by updates on Regional and City Traffic Congestion reduction projects, including GV Traffic Congestion Relief Program. Eight projects focused on turn pockets at busy intersections. The County projects on Brunswick, Idaho Maryland and East Main were also reviewed.

Updates on Mitigation Fees for the City and the Regional were reviewed. Dan Landon NCTC Executive Director, included a pitch for a local option transportation sales tax.

The Wolf Creek Trail preferred concept with it’s six phases was presented by the City.

Questions and Comments from the audience:

The focus was on quality of life issues if the City widens streets, increasing traffic. In fact several comment were made about traffic calming and narrowing the streets to retain the small city charm. Many comments and questions focused on walking, biking and riding mass transit. The Downtown Association and Chamber of Commerce are starting a program to encourage business owners and their staff to ride the Gold County Stage.

Other challenged the Council to try walking from Riebes to Staples. Others noted that the bus stops did not have schedules or places to sit while waiting. Another wanted higher mitigation fees for the home, or business, the farther they were from down town, forcing development closer to the city center.

One lady had a idea, develop a community vision to guide development and infrastructure decisions, rather than dealing with projects one at a time. One of our local contractors want to know why are spending so much money to solve traffic problem that do not exist 23 hours a day. He thought we should lower our expectations. “Slower traffic is part of the charm of our city.”

There were a number of submitted questions. The CCAT questions demonstrated once again they lack understanding of how the mitigation fee systems works. Some of these questions also focused on biking, walking and transit. Other's on how to deal with accumulative impacts.

I may have found a good use for public television, watching Town Hall Meetings from the comfort of my home.

UPDATE: Brittany Retherford has an excelent summary in the morning Union. Not sure about the headline: "Traffic workshop happens bar"

For a private comment to Russ or George, for public comment select comments below.

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