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Plowing ahead

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By Katy Korkos

With the addition of two new snowplows, Los Alamos County is as ready as it’s ever going to be to keep streets passable when the snow flies. The snow and ice removal plan for the winter was approved unanimously by the Transportation Board in September, and employees stand ready to fulfill the mission of “cost-effectively controlling the impact of storms through plowing, salting, sanding and de-icing.”Streets will be plowed in order of ranking, with the first streets to be cleared “primary arterials and collectors,” then secondary arterials, then all other residential streets. Roads that constitute “Safe Routes to School” are also among the first to be plowed, and sidewalks within those routes are cleared as well as parking lots for public buildings.The 2007-08 snow and ice removal plan can be viewed in the reference section of both library branches.The Transportation Board met Thursday in the conference room of the Public Works Department, now located in the portable buildings on what is unofficially called Lavy Lane, at 1925 Trinity Dr.  Four members of the board attended, constituting an official quorum for the seven-member group.Transportation Manager Nancy Talley briefed the board on the Diamond Drive project and West Jemez Bypass at Diamond Drive before giving the update on Atomic City Transit.“Ridership is doing very well,” Talley said.The transit system has a new phone number, 661-RIDE, and a newly established website at www.atomiccitytransit.com, but the biggest advance is the switch from peak service to all day service.“We go to full day service Monday,” Talley said.Board Chair Neale Pickett, who formerly traveled mainly by bicycle, said, “I’m getting out of shape as a result of public transit.”Thursday evening’s agenda only contained one item of new business, the expiration of the air transportation subcommittee. Board member Blaine Asay supported continuing to meet to discuss air transportation. “I think it’s a very important subcommittee,” Asay said. “The public view is that airport operations are being diminished (with the end of the official body).”Pickett advised Asay to consider forming an interest group, rather than a subcommittee of the Transportation Board, to discuss airport and air transportation issues.Under the topic of old business, the board discussed what recommendations they might make to council regarding transportation in Los Alamos County. The discussed regional transit, encouraging cooperation between all the entities involved with transportation and reducing pollution among many other concepts to be included in their presentation.The next meeting for the Transportation Board will be Jan. 3.