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Streetscape design job falls short

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I have kept my mind open to the new “improvements” to the Downtown intersection. I have decided not to become embroiled in the fight over naming it or even whether it was a good use of city funds. But, having lived with the new intersection for weeks now, one thing I can say is this — the traffic engineers did a very substandard job of design. The turns onto and off of Lincoln Way are way too sharp — I have seen several SUV-size vehicles have to back up to get the right angle to make the turns and one truck I saw finally gave up in frustration. The turn angles are way too sharp, the curbs intrude into the turning radius for the corner and there are even granite posts just to ensure that the turning radius is as tight as possible. One “long” car or a poor park job causes traffic to slow and turns to be so tight that I have seen vehicles back up to let another car make the turn. All that money and we end up with an intersection that is not technically well-designed. Our city engineer needs to go out and observe, then come up with a fix — by ripping up some of the curbs and plantings to give turns an adequate radius. Jeesh, I could see the problems emerging while they were building it. How come they couldn’t see it when designing it? Katie Schnable, Auburn