I was dismayed recently to hear that the County is proposing a narrowing or “redesign” of Trinity Drive. The proposed changes, as I understand it, would reduce Trinity to one lane in each direction with a center turning lane/median with concrete cutouts similar to Central Avenue.
I am gravely concerned about the safety and practicality of this plan, especially as we already face a growing Los Alamos National Laboratory population causing ever-longer traffic backups going off the hill during commuting hours. Since Pajarito Road was closed to the public many years ago, an increasing pressure on traffic leading off the front hill road and down the truck route has routinely made my commute to White Rock from the hospital take 40+ minutes during peak traffic hours. Narrowing Trinity would further add to the commute backup and congestion.
This makes no sense from the standpoint of a growing workforce at LANL. From a safety perspective, how will emergency vehicles have right of way with this new design? Getting into the hospital or police station safely and giving emergency vehicles access to our major roadways is paramount. Since Central was narrowed, ambulances avoid this road as much as possible in favor of Trinity, where drivers have a way to move out of the way for emergency vehicles when needed. The “bump outs” on Central and Oppenheimer make navigating these roads in an emergency extremely difficult. Redesigning Trinity in a similar manner will severely worsen this issue.
In the years I’ve lived here, sections of State Road 4 going through WR has been narrowed from two lanes in each direction to one, with concrete medians. The same was done to a section of Airport road years ago. I fail to see the logic behind continually narrowing and limiting access on these roads as our traffic increases. In addition, having been a lifelong resident of Los Alamos and living through two fire evacuations, I feel that we need an open, reliable access out of town in case of an emergency evacuation. Living in a town with a national lab, we need to have a roadway that will not become jammed and impassible in the event of an emergency. Please, County Council and elected officials, I ask that you reconsider this proposed design, for the safety of our residents.