Please, no roundabouts

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

Is the county’s current scheme for Trinity Drive a solution without a problem?  What is the “problem?”

Is it lack of “prettiness” in the commercial area from Oppenheimer eastward? Is it excessive speed? Is it an unsafe intersection? Is it poor business access along Trinity? Is it improved ease of shopping for off-the-hill commuters? Or is it a failure to meet the definition of a “complete street?”

A major impact to Trinity Drive traffic flow will be the Boyer development which will concentrate traffic and congestion particularly at the end of each work day. But, there is no agreement yet and no final plan.  One of the rumored alternatives is a Kroger “Market” as the “big box” (i.e., Smith’s relocates).

Even if it is an alternative “big box” store, a traffic light on Trinity is surely warranted to allow safe pedestrian access as well as safe vehicle access at high flow times.  Roundabouts were the wrong answer for Diamond and they are the wrong answer for Trinity (based on my direct experience with roundabouts in Kansas City, Mo).

I suspect the restriction of Trinity to two lanes is to provide the physical space for the roundabouts. In other words, roundabouts were first assumed (from a text book) which then physically required the two-lane feature (and a likely 25 mph speed limit like Central). Seems like a superb way to drive off-the-hill commuters to alternate routes and no shopping in Los Alamos as they commute. Any rationale for two lanes and roundabouts for part of Trinity Drive applies to all of it from Diamond eastward.  Keep the four lanes, no roundabouts, while providing appropriate beautification and have the new development provide appropriate traffic lights for access at both their east end (at a reconfigured Trinity/DP Road intersection) and further west at their main curb cut to access the “big box.”

Los Alamos