BY JAMES ROBINSON
Former Los Alamos County Councilor
Tonight, the Los Alamos County Council will hear an update on the Canyon Road Reconstruction Project. According to Chair Randy Ryti, this discussion will also include a review of the road diet on Trinity Drive.
I want to thank Chair Ryti for bringing this item back for consideration.
Now is the time to restore Trinity to four lanes.
After much discussion on this issue, I will sum up my comments as follows: This is what I feared, and why I voted against the road diet TWICE.
Two years ago, I voiced my concern for reducing Trinity down to two anes. Most of my comments centered around evacuation of Los Alamos, but I was out-numbered by the successful arguments of others that centered around the need for this change due to the future residential complex currently under construction.
However, current residents are feeling the impact of this decision.
It is no secret that LANL has a considerable number of employees who do not live in Los Alamos. Although many choose to go down the Truck Route or through White Rock, many go through Los Alamos to get groceries or have lunch. This has only become more prevalent as more functions move from telework to onsite.
The increase in traffic from LANL, and the reduction in available routes with the reconstruction of Canyon Road all contribute to this issue. However, the root cause of this issue is the reduction in available capacity of a main arterial road. There are simply not enough lanes to handle the volume of traffic traveling on the road.
So, even when the construction on Canyon Road is complete, construction at the intersection of the Truck Route and State Route 4 is expected to begin. This construction will again reduce the capacity of a route, resulting in more vehicles on Trinity – leading us back to the same issue. Any delays in either project could compound the problem.
The Council cannot affect the traffic from LANL, nor can, or should, it stop or delay vital infrastructure improvements. What it can, and should, do is address what it does have the power to do.
So, as I said before, now is the time to return Trinity to lanes.
If you want to learn more, check out the Reporter’s article on this matter written in 2020 when the decision to put the road diet in place was made. https://losalamosreporter.com/2020/06/13/new-traffic-pattern-on-trinity-drive-following-new-county-council-vote-on-road-diet/
Or you can watch those meetings from the County website. The meetings took place on May 26, 2020 and June 10, 2020.