Summary of July 30th NE/SE Connector Meeting

Posted for Glen Smerage

The meeting was conducted at SFCC by Carlos Ruiz of Occam Consultants, who are conducting the study of connector locations with participation by County (Public Works) and State representatives. There was a large, active audience. The meeting focused on the SE Connector; the NE Connector received little attention and interest.

NE Connector (NEC): Would connect to Point A (large left turn south from I-25 of Rabbit Road extension) and follow I-25 closely as a frontage road, crossing Richards, probably with a roundabout, and into Dinosaur Trail. Two points mainly came out.

  • A south-going dip in the NEC adjacent to Richards permits questionable (undecided) on/off ramps at Richards incident to I-25 North.
  • Dinosaur Trail is a private road, so connecting NEC into Dinosaur as a frontage road is questionable.

SE Connector (SEC): From four alternatives, a government Committee and Occam seem to have selected a north/south corridor bisecting the SFCC campus as easiest, cheapest, and best to relieve traffic on Richards, as its prime objective. It would go approximately from Point A to Avenida Del Sur; College Drive would be extended to SEC; most intersections would be roundabouts. Construction would be in 2016.

Ruiz took three primary points with him from attendee comments.

  • Move SEC to eastern boundary of SFCC campus and not bisect the campus. Linda Segal, spokeswoman for SFCC Board, stated that it does not want the camps bisected by SEC.
  • Do not build SEC unless built all the way to Avenida Del Sur, otherwise would not mitigate traffic problems and increase connectivity.
  • Deemphasize current north entrance to SFCC (originally intended for emergency?), and do not connect College Drive into SEC. That really would not solve traffic problems and usefully increase connectivity; furthermore, it would exacerbate traffic on College Drive for residents of College Heights and future residents.

The following are my observations and thoughts from the meeting.

  • The Committee may have rejected more easterly corridors in large part due to objections from a large (Greer family? G E Richards Property LLC?) landholder there.
  • There appears not to be enough money to do an SEC properly and well. Yet, SEC would be a public gift to the landowners mentioned above when they proceed with development of their land, and there appears to be no inclination to seek a monetary contribution from them to SEC.
  • The corridor study and Committee appear to be taking a short-term, minimalist approach to achieving an SEC, both in function and cost. Looking a few years ahead, the SEC should be pursued as an arterial road, with good, long-term utility and true traffic problem solving.
  • An archeological site may preclude one or more easterly SEC corridors, but no indication was given that it has been surveyed and verified adequately.
  • Public hearings and real decisions by BCC would not occur until 2015; questionable BCC input to date.

— Glen Smerage

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