- Special Sections
- Public Notices
This is to warn the citizens of Los Alamos that an effort is being made to discredit the currently proposed re-design of NM 502 (Trinity Drive), which some have called the Zimmerman option, using two myths:
Myth #1. “The proposed roadway would provide lower capacity than the current road and would increase congestion.”
Myth #2. “The roundabout would lead to ‘built-in’ traffic conflicts and would present an unsafe environment for cars, motorcycles, and pedestrians.”
These myths contradict the judgments of professional traffic engineers who have been hired by the county and have presented their findings at meetings of the NM 502 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).
Fact #1. Using formulas in the Highway Capacity Manual, County Traffic Engineer Kyle Zimmerman, P.E., has determined that the lane configurations in the Zimmerman option will accommodate our traffic volumes until the year 2030.
This is corroborated by studies presented to TAC by traffic engineering firms Ourston Roundabout Engineering and Parsons/Brinkerhoff.
Fact #2. A study commissioned by the National Academy of Engineering (NCHRP-672) concludes that, since the roundabout at Central/Trinity would operate within capacity (after all, its design has been vetted by Ourston Roundabout Engineering, one of the premier roundabout designers in the Country), the roundabout would have shorter traffic delays and fewer stops, and improve motor vehicle safety, in comparison to a signalized intersection.
Because of these facts and many other attractive features of the Zimmerman option, after reviewing other alternatives, the Los Alamos Transportation Board recommended the Zimmerman option to county council.
This campaign against the Zimmerman option is an effort to change NM 502 in a way that would be detrimental to Eastern Area residents and to the safety of all users of NM502 (cars, bikes, buses, and pedestrians).
A 4-lane high-speed highway in this part of town is not needed and would provide excess capacity at great cost in road construction, land use and livability of the neighborhoods in Eastern Area.
We strongly urge Los Alamos citizens to inform themselves about the Zimmerman option and county council members to reject this effort to discredit it.
Peter O’Rourke, TAC member