I recieved an open letter from a resident affected by the Locust Road Closure:
Per the MAC meeting on September 14, 2016 Locust Road will be closed until further notice.
They said they might revisit the impact of the road closure in a year.
Most of the people in our southwest Placer community (with mailing addresses for Elverta, Sacramento County) absolutely agree that we have a big problem with speeders and cars not stopping at the stop signs or slowing down for the school. But, closing Locust Road will more than likely just shift the problem to other roads, such as Pleasant Grove/Rio Linda (that could be closed down in the future as well, if the residents on those roads get tired of the increased traffic).
During the meeting it was asked if anyone had considered the people on Elder, Newton, Browning and Lowell that are served by Locust. Newton has been dealing with this kind of problem as long as Locust. After several town meetings regarding the morning commuters from the Roseville area coming down our rural, one lane road of Newton at 50 + mph, it was decided to post a “No Left Turn From 6 AM to 9 AM” sign on Baseline at Newton. They drive down our road to bypass the traffic backed up by the stop sign at Locust and Baseline (and get to Locust going south, before the closure). They are still coming down our road to get past the traffic backed up by the stop sign at Baseline and Locust by going north on Locust to the stop sign. The residents of Newton didn’t want to close the east access to Baseline as a solution, but now we may need to add speed bumps, or other traffic controls, to slow the traffic (as should have probably been done on Locust instead of closing it). If Newton had been closed, it might have made life so much easier, but closing a road is like putting a bandaide on a much bigger problem. Newton is not the only street having this issue either. Elder, Lowell and Browning residences said in the meeting that the situation on their streets is the same as on Newton, but during the afternoon commute.
Closing Locust will also cause problems for the people in our little community by making Baseline our only road in and out. Baseline is already overloaded before putting us into the mix and now the residences of our community will be forced into commuter traffic on Baseline when taking children to school, going to work, running errands, or shopping.
As we have a mailing address of Elverta (and are serviced by the Elverta Post Office, Sacramento Fire and other emergency services in Sacramento) are we not considered a part of the Rio Linda/Elverta community? We will now be cut off from our only direct route to the rest of the Elverta and Rio Linda community, which some people think will be fine. Only time will tell if they will still think it is fine after the road has been closed for a while.
If the whole community, and not just a few of us, had been involved in the discussion of the Locust closure before the choice was made to close the road, we could have strongly urged Placer, Sacramento and Sutter counties to take care of the actual issue of stop lights being required at Baseline and Riego roads, now… not just “in the future”. Projection for Baseline improvements is several years down the road (est. 10 to 20 years, or more).
The small group of people in our community that voted for the closure of Locust stated that they did this for the community. Placer County only recently sent out postcards informing us of the closure of Locust (within a month of the closure) and the September 14th meeting to discuss it. Why weren’t postcards sent out when the subject of closing a major road was being seriously considered to get the community’s input? It seems like the people involved in the closing of Locust did not consider the businesses on Locust, or the other residents in the community, or ask them what impact this would have on their businesses and their lives. If the county had sent out postcards to get comments from the community on the road closure, or any of the other options available, they would have been able to hear from the businesses and other residents, before voting for something that, it appears, quite a few of the residents have strong objections against.
At the meeting there was also a question asked by a farmer that uses Locust around 8 times a year to move machinery to his fields. If he is forced to use Baseline, Pleasant Grove and Rio Linda with all of the traffic involved, he was concerned about the safety of his driver as well as the commuters on Baseline. Would Placer County allow the gate to be opened in cases like this (with or without a fee attached)?
It had been stated that this closure is to be done for the community. What is the definition of community?
- A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic.
- A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interest, and goals.
This was not done for the whole community; this seems to have been done for just a small portion of our community. What we have seen and heard from some people since the postcards were sent out by Placer County does not fit the definition of community.
Closing down our main thoroughfare to the south is not the solution.
- A main road for public use or a passage through somewhere
- A wide way leading from one place to another, especially one with a specially prepared surface that vehicles can use.
What do you think the residents of Pleasant Grove /Rio Linda are going to do when we start going down their streets. Will they shut down their streets as well? Several residences on Pleasant Grove told us they have an average of three bad rollover accidents per year on the main corner going south. They were not informed of the closure of Locust or that the residences of our small community in Placer will be using their road to get to Elverta and Rio Linda, as well as Elverta and Rio Linda residents getting to Baseline. They will have double the cars on their road during commuter hours and it will be a lot harder for them to get out onto their thoroughfare. Does this sound familiar? Pleasant Grove/Rio Linda will see that Locust has been closed and could demand the same for their small community.
If you would like to protest the closure of Locust Road, please contact the public officials below:
Placer County Board of Supervisors:
District 1- Jack Duran 916-787-8950
General phone to the board: 1-530-889-4010
General email to the board: BOS@placer.ca.gov
Chief of Staff to the board: Teri Ivaldi firstname.lastname@example.org
175 Fulweiler Ave, Auburn, CA 95603
Sacramento County Board of Supervisors
District 4- Roberta MacGlashan 916-874-5491
700 H Street Ste 2450, Sac Ca 95814