Trinity Drive may need fixing

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

If Victor Gavron (“Road is not broken,” Tuesday, March 12) attended the meeting he talks about, he must have been interested to observe that the vast majority of the roughly 80 attendees indicated by their votes that they think Trinity is indeed broken and needs fixing.

Let’s set the record straight. Ms. Dugger and Mr. Zita are not the originators of any proposals regarding Trinity Drive. They were brought in by LA Walks to present design alternatives to the public, facilitate discussion, and solicit feedback – which is what they did.

The alternatives presented were not dreamed up for the occasion, but are the result of a public process that has been ongoing for six months under the auspices of the Downtown Streets Standards Committee. This committee, formed by Rick Bohn, the county’s Community Development Department director, includes representatives from other county departments (e.g., Public Works), the Transportation Board, Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation (representing the business community), LA Walks, and the New Mexico State Department of Transportation.

Prior to Thursday’s meeting, design alternatives generated by the committee were placed on the web by LACDC for public comment (www.lastreets.info/), presented to the Transportation Board, and presented to the public for comment at a County open house on Jan. 22. These alternatives are intended to make Trinity Drive safer and more convenient for all users, including drivers, not to “make driving down Trinity far more difficult.” Design alternatives have been looked at from a traffic engineering point of view, and any design selected for further study will be subject to intensive engineering analysis to evaluate feasibility and effect on the level of service (LOS) provided for motorvehicles.

Finally, we can’t just leave the street “as is,” even if that were desirable.

First of all, Trinity Drive is substandard in many respects, ranging from sidewalk conditions to noncompliance with ADA requirements – by law, Trinity needs to be brought up to federal standards. Over the last decade, new housing has been developed on the south side of Trinity west of Oppenheimer, where sidewalks are narrow and there are no safe pedestrian crossings. Significant new development will occur on Trinity, most notably Boyer’s Trinity Place project. These developments create new transportation and access requirements that must be addressed. In addition, the State Department of Transportation plans a major reconstruction of State Road 502, which includes Trinity up to Knecht Street.

It is important for the county to be proactive with respect to these changes, and develop consensus designs that serve the needs of all our citizens. I hope everyone in the community will participate in this process.

Dave Collins, for LA Walks

Los Alamos