Letter: City leaders should do away with wanna-be-freeways in our crowded city

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The Telegraph headline was yet another death on Folsom city streets. I call city streets with 50 and 55 mph speed limits ?wbf,? or ?wanna-be-freeways.? Folsom Boulevard, Blue Ravine, Natoma-Green Valley, and others have all seen more than their share of vehicular deaths recently. Anyone can say the problem is substance abuse, but few people know the role a City Engineer plays in designing safe roadways. The last Engineered Study for speed control that I trusted was done by the last real City Engineer-Public Works Director, Bob Blaser. Things have changed for the worse since he and his city-oversight position are gone. Look again at these roads of two lanes to seven lanes where the freeway speed limits are posted. Ask yourself these questions: Why is there still any location in a crowded suburban city with a 55 mph limit on surface roads? Why are such high speeds allowed where there are no medians to prevent these horrific killing accidents? Why are traffic signals timed to encourage speeding over the Lake Natoma Bridge all the way down to the outlet mall? These changes are made politically if there is no independent oversight of a California-licensed engineer who can safeguard the entire city, enforcing as well as writing the legal standards for safe roads. Recently I noticed huge changes had been made to the Municipal Code, but I never saw published notice of such major alterations with an engineering component. I know there was no general plan discussion of such wholesale alterations. The changes do not favor businesses which seem to be dying at a very fast pace in this city. The changes are terrible for the interests of parents, families, and other residents who ride, bike, wheelchair or walk. The only possible beneficiary would be developers who could ignore the application of engineering standards to the public infrastructure they provide. Leaving that aside, when will the city act to prevent the deadly cross-over, high-speed collisions killing residents and others? Adjoining communities lowered and enforced speed limits that would prevent deaths. They also built beefy median strips to prevent cross-over killing and prevent wbf?s on crowded urban roads. This place is either packing people onto alley-size lanes by the tens of thousands, or perpetuating wbf?s. The streets are red because freeway high speeds are posted on city streets with no medians, many cross streets, pedestrians and cyclists. High speeds are for controlled-access roads not in cities where they are a direct cause of killer collisions. This is exactly what happens when a licensed engineer with a lot of experience and a licensing board watching him is gone. People, we need to change this. LJ Laurent, Folsom