Safe to walk, but dangerous to drive

Reader Input
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We have owned our house on Second Street for over 14 years. There has never been a traffic accident or any pedestrian incident in our area these many years. However, our street is undergoing the installation of sidewalks in the latest phase of the “Safe Route to Schools” project. There are two huge oak trees in front of our house that have greatly altered the design. It’s pretty cool ... a huge tree in the middle of a street. Bravo to the city leaders for protecting a bit of Rocklin history and heritage, who have fought the city engineer who wanted at least one tree removed and told me, “there shouldn’t be a tree in the middle of the street.” He hired an arborist to concur the tree would eventually die because the pavement will be about 10-inches higher than the crown of the tree and within 4-inches of the bark. The arborist disagreed and concluded the tree should be saved. Though, now I’m not so sure it won’t die and fall on our house. Where there once was ample room to drive around the tree on each side of the tree, there will now be about nine feet of pavement on our side of the street (and 11-feet on the other) for cars, trucks, fire trucks, delivery vans to negotiate it. The engineer’s take, “well, if somebody hits that tree it will most likely be someone from out of the area who you probably don’t want driving down your street anyway.” What? What? Ever see how wide a fully loaded F150 is with side mirrors on both sides? During construction, most drivers have traveled around the tree on the “left” side of the street, looking confused because there isn’t room to travel between the tree and our newly altered driveway. The problem with this, besides being illegal, is the tree is near enough to the corner that when someone goes on the left side of the tree they run the risk of running into an oncoming vehicle turning from Farron on to Second Street. The engineer’s take? Once the street is paved the gutter is considered part of the roadway and can be driven on to get around the tree. So some school kid might be walking down the new “safe” sidewalk and get hit by the mirror of a truck as it travels in the gutter trying to get around the tree. I don’t know why this project had to move forward with a design that just doesn’t make sense. And the engineers know it doesn’t make sense, evidenced by the telephone poles being left on the street side of the new sidewalk along Farron, which the city sought to have moved, but PG&E wouldn’t accommodate because it was too costly, and too much work. I’m sorry, Mr. Rocklin engineer, if PG&E thought it didn’t make sense, perhaps you should have abandoned this design, or the project altogether, at least near these heritage oaks, and let history dictate safety in our neighborhood. Dan Risucci, Rocklin