The Cedar Ravine roundabout is a goner. The Placerville City Council, on a July 8 3-2 vote, ruled out a roundabout there. That leaves a real problem. How will the city create a four-way intersection when the Druid Monument is right smack dab in the middle of the intersection?
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It works now because it is a three-way intersection. What doesn’t work is the intersection of Clay Street and Main Street. It’s a challenge for vehicles coming from Clay Street to make a left turn onto Main Street so near the intersection with Cedar Ravine. To solve that the city will use bridge replacement money it has been awarded to build a new and wider bridge over Hangtown Creek and connect Clay Street to Main Street at the intersection of Cedar Ravine, making it a four-way intersection and four-way stop.
This leaves the Druid Monument as an impediment to traffic. Had a traffic circle been constructed, the monument could have been left in place. Now, the only alternative is to move it — a suggestion we have made before. The perfect place to move it will be opposite the Pearson Soda Works Building, aka the Cozmic Cafe. Once Clay Street is rerouted over a new two-lane bridge with sidewalks, a small indentation can be stubbed out where the old Clay Street intersected Main Street. That can become a mini-park with the Druid Monument at its center. Community Pride can create plantings and a service club can arrange benches. It will be a nice complement with the monument marker for the old Ivy House Hotel, after which the parking lot was named.
Part of the bridge and Clay Street realignment project includes completion of the trail from Clay Street to Bedford Avenue. We would also suggest paving and striping the wider former railroad property between Clay and Locust streets, which is a lot closer for jury parking than the Mosquito Road parking lot.
There is a lot to be gained by building a new Clay Street Bridge and moving the Druid Monument.