Leave it to Ms. Walters to minimize and trivialize what is happening in Willits. Here are some facts:
. The Bypass will divert only 20-30% of traffic, including trucks. It will not eliminate stop and go traffic
for at least 70% of the remaining traffic and will eliminate only a small part of congestion.
. An alternative solution could divert almost all truck traffic off of Main St. and virtually eliminate stop
and go traffic entirely.
. The projected future increase in traffic along the 101 corridor (used by Caltrans to justify the Bypass)
has not been realized since predicted. Instead there has even been a slight decline. There are also
reasons to believe this trend will continue.
. The congestion at the Hwy 20 turn off was introduced ~20 years ago, when Caltrans re-striped the
northbound approach to a single lane, eliminating a critical right-turn capability. The backup started
the very next day. This has greatly contributed to the perception that we need a Bypass to solve the
problem – a problem that was artificially created with poor traffic engineering.
. A proposal at the Willits City Council to resolve our traffic problems with an alternative route through
town by connecting Railroad Ave. to Baechtel Ave. was discouraged by MCOG Executive Direct, Phil
Dow, with the argument that alleviating the backup would reduce local support for a Bypass.
. All Hwy 20 traffic (including trucks) will continue to use Main St. since there is no central
connectivity with the Bypass (and there are no future plans for it either).
. The southern interchange is designed to require Willits traffic coming from the South to exit the
freeway on the right, stop at the end of the off-ramp and then turn left to proceed into town. This will
inevitably create a new bottleneck and inconvenience for drivers coming into Willits.
. The northern interchange will create similar unnecessary inconveniences for vehicles coming in and
out of Willits only to go from one 2-lane road right back to another.
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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