Thursday, August 23, 2007
SPEED RACERS…Squid hates red lights. This cephalopod feels a need for speed. So Squid’s not too happy to hear that some members of the MARINA CITY COUNCIL want to slow down commuter traffic on IMJIN PARKWAY by giving priority to residential drivers. Councilmen DAVE MCCALL and GARY WILMOT are known for their tirades about commuters using Imjin to get from Salinas to Monterey…but…err…looked at a map lately? Marina—inconveniently—falls right between those two cities. But still these city leaders insist that commuters should use HIGHWAY 68 instead.
But while Highway 68 is a two-lane road, a large segment of Imjin will soon become a six-lane thoroughfare. So while McCall and Wilmot bitch about Salinas’s cooks and housekeepers using Marina’s streets to get to work, they voted on July 17 to make Imjin an even smoother commute—for residents only.
Oh wait, Squid almost forgot the punch line. The City Council had to extend the future six-lane section of Imjin to settle a lawsuit filed by attorney RICHARD ROSENTHAL. But instead of stomaching the settlement like their meeting-night Starbuck’s coffee, grumpy councilmembers want to throw around blame and send more cars to an over-traveled 68. Just for that, Squid going to floor it when the light turns yellow.
MORE FUN WITH TRAFFIC…Squid was spit-shining Squid’s halo the other day, wondering what life must be like for mollusks of far lesser significance, when an invitation hit Squid’s desk. On Aug. 28, from 4 to 8pm, the CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, the TRANSPORTATION AGENCY OF MONTEREY COUNTY, and the FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION are hosting a par-tay at AROMAS SCHOOL to show off their plans for a sexy redesign of 101 between DUNBARTON and COLE ROADS in North Monterey County.
Now, maybe Squid just sucks at geography—highly unlikely—but that’s pretty far north of where such redesign is long-overdue: on Highway 101 between RUSSELL and ECHO VALLEY ROADS. That stretch, known affectionately as BLOOD ALLEY, has been waiting for funding for more than 20 years.
From 2003-06, TAMC says, Blood Alley claimed 11 lives in 782 wrecks. Another 453 folks were injured.
Heck, Caltrans was so determined to see the projects through to fruition, that decades ago it snagged up a shipload of primo homes along 101. Most of these are abandoned now, and Caltrans went into the property management business to rent out the rest. Squid would like to applaud the genius who approved that expenditure and rushed all those fine homeowners out of their dream homes so long ago.
But hey, maybe it’s the Montessori method of highway improvement. Bored with one project? Move on to the next. Maybe Squid should score a jumbo bottle of Ritalin for the party planners.