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Letters to the Editor Dec. 24, 2013

Slow down, obey laws and live into the new year

Traveling U.S. Highway 101, there are several areas where traffic laws are  completely ignored.

Driving south, just passing the KOA, cars begin tail-gating, making sure that they can pass you on the left when the lane opens up.

The speed limit is still 55 mph, the law is “no passing at a cross road,” yet the speeders go by, before the freeway, at 70 mph passing at Elk Valley Cross Road.

 

Coming north, at the end of the freeway, there is a 55-mph sign.  Again the speeders pass making sure that they are ahead of everyone when the road narrows to one lane after Elk Valley Cross Road. Yes, often we are passed and must move off the road so as not to cause a collision.

This behavior is chronic in all areas where lanes are added or closed.

A bit of humor: Years ago I arrived at Ray’s Market in Smith River just as the  driver who had almost pushed me off the road was getting out of his car. How much time did he save?

Please, let’s give our California Highway Patrol and all of our law enforcement personnel a merry, uneventful holiday season and new year. Be safe, be courteous.

Maralou Ellis, Smith River

Tunneling is best way to get around Last Chance

My wife and I lived in Japan almost 17 years. In that time, I traveled over many miles of mountain highway and road, as well as walked many mountain trails.  I know what the Japanese would do to bypass Last Chance Grade.  It is expensive, but expensive has an upside of bringing lots of money into an area.

They would tunnel. The tunnel would run from before Hamilton Road and come out at Wilson Creek.  Or, maybe they would come out upstream a little on Wilson Creek and tunnel again through the hills behind Trees of Mystery, avoiding that area of endangered oceanfront and saving the scenic area just past it.

Anyhow, they would do it right with respect to having a good highway system and saving the environment.

In Japan there are very few highways that actually go over a pass.  Instead they tunnel through the top portion. They are the most tunneling people I have ever seen, and by doing so they save a lot of environment and gasoline by not driving all the way up and over mountain passes. 

Sadly, in the Dec. 23 Triplicate article, “Close look at Last Chance,” not one word was said about tunneling.  We know it can be done and was recently done in the Devil’s Slide area on State Route 1 south of San Francisco.

The idea to do so was not Caltrans’, but came from the people whose lives would be affected by changes to that section of State Route 1.  Last Chance Grade is not too different from Devil’s Slide. Lets tunnel. 

Ronald Thompson,

 Crescent City 

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