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    Zeno Swijtink's Avatar
    Zeno Swijtink

    Hwy 116: To Rehabilitate or to Make Safer??

    LETTER: Comment on 116

    EDITOR: On Nov. 27 at the Vets Hall, I attended the meeting that Caltrans set up about the Rehabilitation of HWY 116 between Sebastopol and Cotati. It was great to see so many other folks there, voicing their opinions and reservations about the project. During the course of the evening I spoke to most of the Caltrans employees and learned that there are many, many Highway Rehabilitation projects like this one, that are designed and are awaiting funding, which may not materialize for several years, or even decades. I also learned that if the project were to get enough people asking for reclassification to a “Safety Project,” instead of a Rehabilitation Project, it will rise to the top of the list and may actually get funded in the next several years.

    To me, it is obvious that this should have been a “Safety Project” from the beginning. Immediately south of town on the turn before Sparkes Road, there have been several fatal crashes in just the last six years. Many people pull onto the shoulder to pass cars trying to turn left onto Llano or Hessel Roads since there are no left turn lanes. Fire trucks have a hard time even getting onto the Highway as Hessel Road backs up so bad during rush hour. I cringe whenever I see all the young pedestrians walking the narrow shoulder to get to their bus stops before school, and currently bicyclists have between no shoulder and two feet on which to ride.

    So please join me in asking Caltrans to change this from a HWY 116 “Rehabilitation Project” to a much needed “Safety Project!” We have until Dec. 13 to make comments to Caltrans and here is the contact information:

    Melanie Brent, Office Chief

    Attention: Valerie Heusinkveld

    Dept. of Transportation, Office of Environmental Analysis

    P.O. Box 23660, Oakland, CA 94623-0660

    To submit comments via email: [email protected].

    - Pat Munsch, Sebastopol
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  2. TopTop #2

    Re: Hwy 116: To Rehabilitate or to Make Safer??

    Interesting issues, but to my mind not the most urgent fix needed to 116. I just sent the following:
    "Dear Ms Heusinkveld,
    I read recently of Caltrans plans for Hwy 116 between Cotati and Sebastopol. If safety is the prime Caltrans consideration then I urge that the absolute highest priority be given to providing a safe space for pedestrians and bicyclist across the Pritkin Marsh, the section of Hwy 116 approximately 500 yards north of the intersection with Guerneville Road. Hwy 116 there is a causeway with barriers on either side, so in an emergency there is no escape for pedestrians or bicyclists - they can't even jump into the brambles. Since the load of pedestrians and bicyclists is very low, only a lightweight structure will be needed, but one should be provided on both sides, as its definitely not a good place for a pedestrian crosswalk!"

    If you've ever seen a cyclist or pedestrian try and negotiate that stretch of road (especially with the double length gravel trucks) you'll know understand my point, and I hope voice your support.
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