Prado Road to be on November ballot in San Luis Obispo

July 21, 2010

San Luis Obispo voters will decide the future direction of the proposed Prado Road extension in November. [Tribune]

In a post-midnight vote, the City Council agreed unanimously to put the new initiative on the November ballot. The council decision came after supporters gathered thousands of signatures from city residents.

However, council members also expressed their reservations against the initiative, arguing that it would undo years of planning. Earlier in the week, the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce also came out against the measure.

Current plans call for Prado Road to be extended to Broad Street, between Industrial and Capitolio, just north of the popular Damon-Garcia Sports Fields. City officials have long viewed the new road as the major East-West connector in San Luis Obispo.

However, initiative supporters are concerned about increased traffic so close to playing fields, as well as health risks from idling trucks. They prefer Prado be realigned so that the extension stops short of the playing fields and brings traffic down to Tank Farm Road.

Under their plan, Buckley Road would become the main East-West connecting route and traffic would be fed directly on to Los Osos Valley Road.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Actually, the proponents plan does not include any option for replacing the major east-west connector that Prado is envisioned to become. The public will undoubtably see several “options” presented by the proponents of the initiative, but the truth is, the initiative simply deletes the east portion of the planned Prado Road and presents no alternative, leaving the City staff to pick up the pieces. This initiative results in a dead-end road and a dead end for SLO’s traffic situation and economic growth.

Child safety is the weakest argument for blocking the Prado Road extension. These people are strictly “no growth”, which is unrealistic. Tank Farm is already broken. Re-routing Prado Road to Tank Farm is insane and will not work. Take note of the proponent’s buzz words: “Easily fixed by widening Tank Farm to 4 lanes”, “20 feet away from the field”, “Asthma”, consistently referred to as a “Truck Highway”. The project being 20′ from the ball fields is a lie. It’s almost 70′ away. No kids are going to cough and sputter out because they are breathing fumes. That’s insane. Widening Tank Farm to four lanes, as suggested, is not possible due to environmental reasons (hence the fences protecting the marshland and the reason why it is only two lanes right now). True, Prado Road was designed to be 4 lanes, but in reality it will be built as 2 lanes and will go to 4 lanes many years in the future, if capacity is exceeded with 2 lanes (and the ultimate 4 lane is still 70 feet from the fields). I’m not sure how I actually feel about growth in SLO, but unless you are going to somehow limit the number of cars on the road or the number of people that are allowed to move to SLO (which is not possible of course because we don’t live in North Korea), the road is necessary to relieve an already congested area. For everyone out there that will be voting on this in November, please note that the proponents of the project do not have a licensed Civil or Traffic Engineer in their corner. There’s a good reason for that, and it’s that no professional would be able to justify dumping Prado Road into Tank Farm. It’s just not possible.

Lets not forget that the crowd trying to block the Prado road extention is the same crowd that tried to stop Dalidio and for the same reason… prevent the Prado road extention. It seems these folks are incapable of teaching their children to not play in traffic and therefore are happy to spend thousands upon thousands of taxpayer dollars so they never have to educate their children on safe street practices. I pity these children that are raised without street smarts. The first time they get away from their folks (if that ever happens) they will probably mindllessly walk out into a busy intersection somewhere and that will be that. Come on folks there are fences around the soccer field. If someone climbs a fence and chooses to run out in front of a bunch of cars well its probably gonna happen to that one regardless of location. (I think Darwin said that)

Sigh – yet another initiative decided by “the voters” who will get the majority of their information from cleverly worded advertisements, leaving the final outcome in the hands of the side with the most money or the loudest voice.

Why do we even have elected officials? Is this not something they are supposed to decide? if all the critical decisions are put to a community-wide vote, a cage full of monkeys could sit on City Councils, County Boards and in the State Legislature.

Seems like the only things these elected panels decide these days are things that don’t matter.