Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Traffic

EDITOR:

Sorry, Charlie (Warren Wyllie), your current peeve about traffic on Highway 50 (and you are not alone) goes back a lot longer than your 15 years.

We came here over 40 years ago, and it was getting bad then. You must go back to the city fathers in the 1950s, and ask them. It is our understanding that in the light of then future Highway 50 improvements, Placerville’s city fathers were afraid that Placerville would die if Highway 50 bypassed it. They were so nearsighted that they could not even look as far as Highway 99 in the central valley, or visualize the continued population growth.

In post WWII, Highway 99 went through every city in its path in the valley. By the ’50s and ’60s many were lobbying to bypass, but even with that, the cities grew out to where the highway was. At least the bypass never did have traffic signals, even after the cify surrounded it again.

We came here in the ’60s, and there were proposals then to bypass Placerville to the south (Pleasant Valley Road as far east as Smith Flat, I believe). As you can see, it was lobbied into oblivion. The growth of Apple Hill in the ’70s and ’80s just added to the mess.

We too, hope Main Street and Broadway enjoy the choke they have each Sunday.

Sadly, there is not a convenient bypass around the whole mess, but I suppose it would be choked also.

JIM BERGENHOLTZ
Diamond Springs

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 8 comments

  • James E.August 20, 2013 - 5:11 pm

    Just adjust the three lights for longer green and let the traffic flow through and avoid the Sunday choke. This is NOT brain surgery.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieAugust 20, 2013 - 5:24 pm

    James -- the gridlock on the surface streets is bad now. Hold the 50 cross traffic for 15 minutes and the backups would be huge to the point of dangerous.

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  • James E.August 20, 2013 - 5:32 pm

    Kirk, it doesn't have to be 15, it can be 10. And, locals know the back roads to get across Hwy 50 (besides, most of the downtown Main Street traffic on Sunday PM is Tahoe people trying to get around the backup and they won't be there if they can flow down Hwy 50 on extended greens). Can only find out if it works if the City tries it. Actually, they have have already extended the greens (not sure how long, but while waiting to get across Hwy 50 this past Sunday I couldn't believe how many cars were getting through and there didn't appear to be a back up higher up Hwy 50. This was about 4PM. I have no vested interest in this as I usually stay home on Sunday afternoons. Usually.

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  • James E.August 20, 2013 - 5:34 pm

    *** delete have, add may as in they may have already extended the greens

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  • James E.August 20, 2013 - 5:37 pm

    *** delete 4PM, add 3PM

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  • Kirk MacKenzieAugust 20, 2013 - 6:35 pm

    James -- I think they do adjust the lights for weekend traffic. This is a lull season...fall and winter tend to be peak with Apple Hill and skiing. Even with adjustment, the traffic backs up. Yes, much of the east-west backup on surface streets is overflow from the highway backup. Traffic patterns may not be brain surgery, but they can pretty pretty tricky.

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  • robertdnollAugust 20, 2013 - 7:27 pm

    build more houses and strip malls here in El Dorado county then thousands of the cars that use Highway 50 will become familiar with alternate routes to their homes right here and the only time we will need to use 50 is during the week

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  • kggAugust 25, 2013 - 8:25 pm

    jim wrote: "...in the ’60s, and there were proposals then to bypass Placerville to the south (Pleasant Valley Road as far east as Smith Flat, I believe). As you can see, it was lobbied into oblivion. The growth of Apple Hill in the ’70s and ’80s just added to the mess.> kgg wrote: if placerville had been bypassed, the tourists would pass us. this area depends on tourism. yes, the traffic can be a pain but it would be suicide to have the traffic rerouted.

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