Carpenter Road project lacking
The Aug. 20 issue of The Bee reported that Stanislaus County leaders are again considering asking voters to approve a local transportation tax. Two previous campaigns failed. I see the appeal such a tax would have; supporters promoted it as an inducement to gain state and federal transportation funds. I know the deficient, potholed condition of county and city roadways.
But before supporting a tax increase, I want to know more about transportation decision-makers charged with spending these funds.
The same issue had a story about the Carpenter Road bridge. Carpenter is a major north-south arterial, beginning at Highway 99 and ending just north of Merced County. In some places it is two lanes, in others four. The bridge over the Tuolumne is one of only eight for over 16 miles, from Geer to Shiloh Road. The “upgrade,” costing more than $10 million, will double the width. Inexplicably, it will still be two lanes. The extra width is devoted to two pedestrian walkways.
The two-lane bridge is a commuter bottleneck now. What logic persuaded county planners to not upgrade it to four lanes? What would they do with even more money – another pedestrian bridge perhaps?