A solution to the midvalley’s traffic woes
The traffic congestion in the Willits/El Jebel area is quickly becoming a daily issue – much as it was before the great recession significantly reduced the traffic volume.
Unfortunately, Highway 82 was constructed in this area without any frontage roads or underpasses to mitigate the impact of such volume. As a result, there is very little separation between local and regional traffic – it all ends up being dumped on Highway 82. The grand opening of Whole Foods in Willits in early August will only exacerbate this congestion. So, what can we do about it?
I suggest that we explore the possibility of extending Two Rivers Road as a frontage road from Aspen Junction all of the way to Floyd Crawford Way (beyond Bella Mia). Currently, there are some intermittent pieces of potential roadway in place – we just need to connect them all into one road that ultimately spills out to Crawford Way. Then, from this road, we condense access to Highway 82 between Aspen Junction and El Jebel to a few major intersections such as the stoplight directly opposite of the Willits roundabout.
The benefits of the above arrangement are that it: 1) separates local and regional traffic; 2) allows movement between Blue Lake and Basalt without adding to the congestion on Highway 82 (think parents with kids going back and forth to school); 3) reduces the inevitable temptation for upvalley regional shoppers to drive through the Willits subdivision before or after excursions to Whole Foods; 4) paves the way for the inevitable local bus service connecting the two major hubs in the midvalley.
And, while we are at it, the new frontage road could include a bike path which would then connect Blue Lake bikers with the existing bike path at the bridge by Aspen Junction.
Just a thought.
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