Opinion » Letters

Traffic calming backlash

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On Aug. 15, the SLO City Council will be asked to adopt a traffic redistribution plan that will profoundly affect vehicular and bicycle traffic throughout the city. The current proposal calls for long segments of both Chorro and Broad to become one-way streets. "Speed cushions" are intended for Broad Street.

Bicyclists are the leading proponents of the Broad Street bicycle boulevard project. Only residents of the Anholm neighborhood were solicited by postcard to express a design preference. Unless and until the citizens at large are heard from, I fear a repeat of the "traffic calming" fiasco from more than 20 years ago: Motorists, surprised by the sudden emergence of unsightly barriers, expressed their displeasure by revving their engines and honking as they approached each impediment. Anholm residents were vilified as elitists. A special council meeting convened at the Vets Hall in response to the strident and persistent complaints. Deconstruction started the following day.

An ungly backlash to the project can be avoided if the entire community feels as if (unlike 20 years ago) it had a chance to participate in a transparent, democratic process.

Kevin McReynolds

San Luis Obispo

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