In your Editor’s Note (June 17) you said the initiative proposed for the November ballot to prevent Prado Road from being extended adjacent to the Damon-Garcia sports fields in San Luis Obispo might scuttle the city’s Prado Road Plan altogether and housing development along with it. Sounds dramatic!
In reality, only the eastern fifth of the road on your map would be realigned, turned to a southerly direction to lead directly into Tank Farm Road. This was one of the alternatives studied before. According to the Environmental Impact Report of 2003, a resident wrote:
“An alternative ... would be to extend Prado Rd. in a SE direction from the Margarita Area to connect to Tank Farm Rd. ... and thereafter use Tank Farm Road as the arterial access. This alternative would eliminate the need to construct approximately ½ mile of the Prado Rd. extension to Broad St., would create less environmental damage, would eliminate the conflicts with the Damon-Garcia sports fields and eliminate the need for an additional signalized intersection on Broad St. Traffic movements (particularly trucks) can be better accommodated ... In my view this alternative is clearly superior to any alternatives ... Dave Romero, Former Council Member.”
These wise words by Romero, who is now the mayor, are the basis of the initiative. The road project as currently planned would lead to higher construction costs due to the much-disputed pedestrian tunnel (think of the potential for crime). The official project has to cross a creek leading to a complicated procedure with the Corps of Engineers. The initiative avoids the above issues, but allows full building development—practically identical to existing plans. City development and business would not suffer from the initiative. On the contrary, livability and land prices in the Margarita Area would
go up because most trucks would be moved to four-lane Tank Farm Road and to Buckley Road.
The initiative offers the same east-west average daily traffic capacity in vehicles (ADT) as the current plan, namely a total of 64,000 vehicles, if Prado, Tank Farm and Buckley Roads are added together (eight lanes). This is three times more than today’s traffic. There will be no unsolvable traffic jams by realigning a small part of Prado Road