Opinion » Letters

Prado Road initiative is certainly justified

San Luis Obispo

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Regarding the June 17 cover story “Not in my sports field,” one rationale for a “northern alignment” of Prado Road passing through the Damon Garcia Sports Fields site is the alignment might make east-west travel much faster in southern SLO.  However, your map doesn’t tell the whole story. It leaves out the important roads that are part of the Airport Area Specific Plan. One of them is a branch of Prado Road, connecting to Tank Farm Road at Santa Fe, and then to Broad Street.  This “southern alignment” of Prado would remain in place even if the initiative passes.

Consider two scenarios from the U.S. 101 / Prado Road junction, via Prado Road to (1) the SLO airport, or (2) back-tracking westward to the junction of Broad Street and Orcutt Road. To the airport, the Prado Road southern alignment is slightly shorter (2.77 miles vs. 2.85 miles) and about eight seconds faster.  To the Broad Street/ Orcutt Road junction, the Prado Road northern alignment is shorter (2.40 miles vs. 3.12 miles) but the driving time is only 65 seconds faster than via the Prado southern alignment (assume travel to be 40 mph with all green signals).  Even in the worst-case scenario, these differences in driving times are minimal, and do not justify the intrusion of a new four-lane truck highway through the sports-fields site.

 The other rationale for Prado’s northern alignment was to continue Prado through the Orcutt neighborhood, ending at Orcutt Road. That concept has died, thankfully, and will not be revisited.  That’s another good reason to pass this initiative.

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