Initiative aimed to fight gridlock |

Initiative aimed to fight gridlock

by Michael Schneider

An initiative filed last week would curb potential traffic woes caused by developments in El Dorado County.

El Dorado County District 1 Supervisor Sam Bradley said the Control Traffic Congestion initiative, filed March 20, would address two crucial traffic issues unclear in the current General Plan. Proponents need about 5,500 signatures get the initiative on November’s ballot.

If approved, there would be just two ways develoment would occur if it affects traffic.

County tax dollars could be used only after voter approval to pay for road improvements needed as a result of new development. Or new development would include covering costs to solve traffic problems it creates.

Also, it would set clear standards that would prohibit approval of new residential development projects if they contribute to unacceptable gridlock and traffic congestion.

The initiative would expire after 10 years, and could be amended by a majority vote of the county.

Prior to its expiration, the county would have the opportunity to vote on a 10-year extension.

“This initiative adds policies that firmly support and clearly implement the General Plan’s traffic planning goals and objectives,” Bradley said.

The initiative would add five policies to the the General Plan, to ensure new development would pay for road improvements needed to prevent congestion from worsening.

It would also prevent county officials from adding any segments of U.S. Highway 50 or any other roads to the county’s list of roads that are allowed to operate at gridlock or stop-and-go congestion levels.

“It’s kind of a wake-up call because of massive traffic facing the Western Slope,” Bradley said. “Go sit at El Dorado Hills at 2 or 3 p.m. and watch the traffic back up as evening approaches.”

Bradley said the traffic has become worse in the last few years mainly on workdays but also on Friday and Sunday nights, lengthening Tahoe vacationer’s trips to and from the Bay Area and Sacramento.

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