Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Highway 50 at LOS F

EDITOR:

The county’s Measure Y, the twice voter-approved initiative, says the Board of Supervisors cannot approve new residential projects that will cause or worsen any roadway or highway segment where congestion or Level of Service (LOS) is rated by Caltrans as an “F,” or failed. So, it was an “Aha” moment at the Dec. 3 Board of Supervisors meeting when one BOS member asked, “So, are we now at LOS F on Highway 50?” and representatives from the county’s long range planning division said, well, yes; causing a pause, followed by silence and quiet speculation.

Does this mean the BOS cannot approve new residential developments? This question wasn’t asked, but it loomed large, as if an 800-pound gorilla had just entered the room.

It took months, public pressure and a letter from Caltrans to get the long range planning folk to stop equivocating, and reluctantly admit that Highway 50 is at LOS F. They must now confirm that indeed the BOS cannot approve new developments until Highway 50s LOS F status is truly mitigated.

I’m waiting for that next “Aha” moment, and the follow-up BOS action: advising the developers of San Stino, Dixon Ranch Project, Marble Valley, etc., that there will be no new developments until Highway 50s failed LOS status is improved. And per Caltrans, that won’t happen anytime soon. Maybe 2035. Maybe not.

Residential development projects already approved by the BOS, comprising about 16,000 parcels countywide, half in El Dorado Hills, can still move forward. But that’s it, except for commercial ventures and multi-family developments.

With Measure Y, the people of El Dorado County overwhelmingly embraced the rural character of their communities. They want businesses, jobs and manageable traffic; not more rooftops, clogged roadways and highways.

The county’s long-term planning professionals should immediately publicly confirm to the BOS that Measure Y is in play, and new residential developments must be deferred. And they should repurpose their efforts from planning for more residential development to finding ways to promote business opportunities and creating jobs.

Reality bites. But, the BOS should demand the truth on this one. Now.

BILL WELTY
El Dorado Hills

Letters to the Editor

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 37 comments

  • Fran DuchampDecember 04, 2013 - 5:42 pm

    We have seen this over and over at BOS meetings...it is nice that someone is finally listening. The numbers have been manipulated so many times--Im glad someone was able to finally say out loud..hwy 50 is at LOS F status. " that there will be no new developments until Highway 50s failed LOS status is improved. And per Caltrans, that won’t happen anytime soon. Maybe 2035. Maybe not." Good job Caltrans. Now this bothers me..."But that’s it, except for commercial ventures and multi-family developments." MDU...can mean apartments. Why were apartments left in this mess? lolol...because there are grants for low income rentals in rural areas....not grants agian. Multifamily...is it just me--or does that still mean more traffic? Shaking head...more manipulation. Jobs...there are many different things that can be created for "work" in a rural setting...Im waiting for the ideas to come...so far many are stuck in a box...but they have wine--so it is all good.

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  • EvelynDecember 04, 2013 - 5:56 pm

    Who wrote this (unsigned) LTE? Timely and to the point. Thank you.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieDecember 04, 2013 - 6:46 pm

    My money is on Bill Welty. He has written several LTEs lately on this subject, and he told me today (at our CP Eskaton gig) he has submitted another...on this topic.

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  • robertdnollDecember 04, 2013 - 6:39 pm

    it will be interesting to see who is going to try and get around this law

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  • Dee#1December 04, 2013 - 7:09 pm

    I am sure that they will find a way to secure a variance. Just follow the money.

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  • robertdnollDecember 04, 2013 - 7:28 pm

    it will be interesting to see who will stand up for the will of the people in our county

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  • Judith MathatDecember 04, 2013 - 9:46 pm

    This will all depend on how soon and who will take over Supervisor District 2, but be assured MPG vs VIP Money Power Greed vs Values Integrity Principles will decide depending who is elected.... Also how soon the rails can and will be removed to allow the developments to donate "open space" from the rail easement into public use "trails" and receive 1.5 houses in density transferrs for their development plans the increase in houses and extra "gifts" of rooftops from those density transferrs will make the LOS Z short shrift and no one will know what hit them until then. Better get Supervisors elected that will not allow development to occur until the infrastructure is in place as this area is fast becoming worse than South San Francisco!!!

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  • JimBoDecember 05, 2013 - 5:20 am

    I give EDC Board of Supervisor Leadership level of service an "F"

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  • NonsenseDecember 05, 2013 - 6:45 am

    Hmm. An unsigned letter to the editor. Must be a new policy from the MD leadership. A savvy citizen would realize that there is one large developer that benefits greatly from this positioning document. Think 3 letters. So is it a vision for a better county or strategic advantage? The measure Y boys are leveraging this political relationship and the NIMBYs for their own benefit and projects, too. No candidates for sainthood anywhere in the mix. Keep digging.

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  • Fran DuchampDecember 05, 2013 - 8:53 am

    "But that’s it, except for commercial ventures and multi-family developments."....this is the problem. This is the new fight. apartments.

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  • Dee#1December 05, 2013 - 10:04 am

    Fran and others, on Facebook there is a site called El Dorado Watch. This not a political discussion group but rather a digital Neighbor Watch type of site. People post crimes, missing dogs, cats and children. They post traffic alerts, etc. I suggest that some of you might find it interesting to know this information. Fran I singled you out because much of the traffic has been Pollock Pines and Diamond Springs.

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  • MWDecember 06, 2013 - 7:04 am

    Exiting Ponderosa Rd on the commuter bus last week, traffic was backed up on the freeway. Caltrans was working on the lights. This past Wednesday, exiting eastbound at the same offramp, traffic was so backed up over the bridge with cars in the right lane to turn on North Shingle, that cars stopped turning left from the offramp, so even those of us who wanted to use the empty left/Ponderosa northbound lane couldn't turn. And San Stino and Tilden Park developments in that area will add how many MORE cars? Let's keep the zoning as is; I'm not against growth, I'm against the wink and the nod from the BOS to the developers that lets them upzone and build more than what their property is zoned or planned for. The developers often complain that "it won't pencil out" if they don't get to upzone to higher densities. The neighbors, who did their due diligence when they purchased their homes (knowing what the zoning on the nearby lands is) shouldn't have to pay in traffic, noise, and crowding because the developer made a bad business deal in purchasing their land, or can't make the bigger profit that they think is due them.

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  • WhattheheckDecember 06, 2013 - 7:48 am

    As the public gets more involved and the BOS slip-up and admit the truth it all comes out. The LOS F also exists on Ponderosa Road here in Shingle Springs. We told the county this in emails, letters and phone calls when they thought and still think that Tilden Park is such a wonderful idea. When a road is a LOS F and Tilden Park wants to add 4,500 more cars to that road I think we can call this insanity. The BOS and developers think it is a grand idea and oh, my, all the minimum wage jobs that will be had in El Dorado County if Tilden Park is developed. We didn't move here to get a minimum wage job and if you did good luck. The motel planned in Tilden Park is doomed for failure. We know that only 30% of the hotel rooms in Cameron Park are filled so why would a developer possibly want another motel. Because when they can't rent out those rooms they can convert that motel to low-income housing and now we have low-income housing in a neighborhood that is zoned R1A. I could go on with more details on this project but you can see only one of a long list of serious problems. Please keep informed and keep fighting as our county and our beautiful country side is worth it.

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  • Fran DuchampDecember 06, 2013 - 8:26 am

    lolol...another motel/hotel was mentioned up here as well. Not sure where everything is going to og...new medical center, small college, 26 acres of shopping/business. Trials/bike lanes....sometimes I think about these people...and wonder why they moved here. People are not for "no growth"--people are against "smart growth" <------"Smart growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl. It also advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a range of housing choices" There are people hungry...and people want to spend money foolishly. This "ides" has brought other places to their knees. Wake up Computers are not sustainable. Trails from Tahoe. to Sac... ALREADY EXIST. (shhhhh its how the people came to California to homestead..) I dont see a whole lot of the economic group people walking or biking around El Dorado...does any one else? Do our BOS walk from their homes? ride Horses? Bike. It is a scam to get money from grants. Watch the population numbers...there is a line that if we cross it...we will not be rural at all. I was just at a meeting...where the "important" people were...everyone was saying "rural"...yet "smart Growth" is urban. Either they dont read--or they know. If they "know"--then they are lying.

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  • Fran DuchampDecember 06, 2013 - 8:46 am

    And then there are the developers...who keep the "important" people busy with the grassroot lies of "smart growth" and "walkability"...while doing what they have been trying to do all along...build. Meanwhile the elected officials and friends who own property in these areas, make lots of money. We really need a mini series of El Dorado-- it has everything. The last frontier being "sold out" by people who feel they know best? Nope-- they are the ponds--they are the" disposable" front line. <-----there will always be people to fill these slots. Please understand calling them "important" is being sarcastic on my part. Up here they call themselves "the brave ones"--they drank their kool aide already.Our town is dying...it is these brave ones that are killing it further...they are taking what little money we have...and are investing it on signs...monuments...activities down the hill. Well, they are also lowing their property values. Those young adults have still not been paid by the investor that bought the troll house. An $1100.00 deposit is still owed to them. Economic development--investors coming in to turn a profit only.

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  • Fran DuchampDecember 06, 2013 - 8:53 am

    Sorry Dee--just saw your call out for the watch...I am aware of it. Up here we also have people watching each other...kind of creepy. We also have "vigilantes" <-----unfortunately sometimes they hurt people with the wrong information. One group wants more cameras up in town..."watching" like we are a big mall. Being a teacher--I am used to people observing or listening..so I dont care...but others are staring to get really upset. I watched two people get into a verbal fight...because one was taking pictures of the other..and it was a misunderstanding. Some of the "important" people are getting scary.

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  • Fran DuchampDecember 06, 2013 - 9:01 am

    Dee...when you get a chance--look at the players from Pollock Pines. Ive been on this site for a very long time. Most of the sites that the "important" people are on...so am I. they follow me as well...the spy game.

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  • Bill WeltyDecember 06, 2013 - 9:08 am

    At the heart of all the growth issues is trust. At Google they say, "in God we Trust, everyone else bring data". And this is where we need to focus: using data to articulate what rural means, what quality of life means in El Dorado County. There will be a presentation/discussion on the County's new Traffic Demand Model at Tuesday's BOS meeting, 2pm (https://eldorado.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=1529906&GUID=138A5B25-C7A9-4D0B-AB10-DD32F068AFA7). At issue: does/can/will the Model fairly present traffic conditions in the county? This is an important discussion since the TDM will be key in the BOS understanding of the Traffic Impacts of developments, and serve as an important/critical guide in its decision making processes, e.g. applying tenets of Measure Y. Smart growth should be data driven. Helps with the Trust thing.

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  • Fran DuchampDecember 06, 2013 - 9:19 am

    "Trust" is important. The meeting I saw--a portion of the highway was pulled...and it did not tell the whole story. No one lied...the numbers were manipulated--so a truth was told--just not the whole truth. Ask straight out. Is 50 at Los F...the answer is "yes."

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  • Dee#1December 06, 2013 - 9:29 am

    Fran, I have noticed the names but they actually mean nothing to me. I keep a distance from local and State politics. Well, except for the Roundabout and the exploding quality of life crimes where I have a close personal interest. I have found useful and info accurate on the site. It helps to know where and how crimes are occurring and always makes me happy when lost pets are reunited with their families.

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  • SueDecember 06, 2013 - 4:41 pm

    Robert, this is how they get around the law... with a 4/5th vote; http://web.mail.comcast.net/service/home/~/?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=350726&part=2

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  • robertdnollDecember 06, 2013 - 7:32 pm

    Sue,i don't go to sites that people post but i'm sure what you posted are credible.I just don't need any help to know that more houses equal more traffic on our already congested roads.Stay sharp and informed Sue,you're doing a great job by being informed

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  • NonsenseDecember 07, 2013 - 7:29 am

    The plain truth: It is not "getting around the law" if it can legally be done. Question: How does anyone know the "will of the people" if just hundreds not tens of thousands are speaking? Factoid: El Dorado County population: over 180,000. Question: What is the measure Y boys real agenda and who is funding them? Tidbit: Personal projects cost them too much in fees, those fees THEY created were meant for everyone else, not them, and interestingly all is approved and backed by a large developer. Question: Could it be true that the anti-Agenda 21 crowd is really aligned with the pro-Agenda 21 advocates creating an unholy alliance based upon NO? Tidbit: Yes, yes and yes although neither will admit it in public, ...yet. Questions: Is it OK for personal agendas to trample personal property rights? What happens if the No crowd is told No? Does anyone in El Dorado County accept no as an answer? Factoid: The real legacy of El Dorado County is not gold, but litigation over anything and everything and so it will be in the future. Be sure to keep it local when shopping for your legal services and see you in court, maybe even in the new court on Briggs Lane.

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  • EllenDecember 07, 2013 - 8:05 am

    to Nonsense: I would venture to guess that Sue meant get around the "intent" of the law. Also, Measure Y has been in effect since 1998; if the Measure Y guys had an ulterior and self-benefitting motive I am sure that would have been evident by now. Perhaps, like many of us, they enjoy their rural quality of life.

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  • NonsenseDecember 09, 2013 - 8:18 am

    The Measure Y guys have already modified their document once with BoS approval several years ago. Clearly, it did not fix their own specific project issues. Now they want to do it again allegedly because of "unintended consequences". Footnote: These guys spin political issues for a living. Anti-Agenda 21 and pro Agenda 21 singing Kumbaya together around an artificial campfire. Fascinating.

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  • robertdnollDecember 07, 2013 - 8:22 am

    easy to spot the immigrants

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  • Fran DuchampDecember 09, 2013 - 8:34 am

    Nonsense...I dont really sing :) Anti/Pro The 21st agenda...ummmmmmm. I am not in either court. I am observing that people voted for something--not once--twice. and that should be honored. If people dont like what people voted--put it back on the ballot. I do have concerns that y excludes apartments.

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  • Fran DuchampDecember 09, 2013 - 8:46 am

    Also...you do make a valid point...groups are mixed...and it is interesting. Up here in Pollock Pines...im afraid it is ballant. People are new to the" spy game." ...and no offense to them...they are not good at it. Bless them. It is sad. Someone's laughing, Lord, kumbaya Someone's laughing, Lord, kumbaya Someone's laughing, Lord, kumbaya Oh Lord, kumbaya and while someone is laughing... Someone's crying, Lord, kumbaya Someone's crying, Lord, kumbaya Someone's crying, Lord, kumbaya Oh Lord, kumbaya And if someone is getting hurt--as humans--we should be concerned.

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 05, 2014 - 12:43 pm

    Highway 50 at LOS F

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 05, 2014 - 12:47 pm

    Highway at los "d" moving into Los "f" http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist3/departments/planning/tcr/tcr50.pdf

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 05, 2014 - 12:48 pm

    BBL with more :)

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 05, 2014 - 1:27 pm

    Someone asked if I would put up a definition: F: forced or breakdown flow. Every vehicle moves in lockstep with the vehicle in front of it, with frequent slowing required. Travel time cannot be predicted, with generally more demand than capacity. A road in a constant traffic jam is at this LOS, because LOS is an average or typical service rather than a constant state. For example, a highway might be at LOS D for the AM peak hour, but have traffic consistent with LOS C some days, LOS E or F others, and come to a halt once every few weeks. (wiki) Other LOS levels are also on this site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_service.

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 05, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_94f2jRNYks BOS meeting about service level on 50

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 05, 2014 - 1:37 pm

    For our "math" people to better understand what numbers the charts are showing http://tinyurl.com/n6za2d4

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 05, 2014 - 2:15 pm

    Interesting transportation document form 2005 http://www.sierrafoot.org/local/edctc_2005_initial_study.pdf.

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 05, 2014 - 2:25 pm

    Many articles in one place. http://www.shinglespringscommunityalliance.com/in-the-news

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  • Fran DuchampFebruary 05, 2014 - 3:13 pm

    County, Measure Y Committee in gridlock http://www.villagelife.com/news/county-responds-to-measure-y-presentation/

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