A traffic project in need of a plan...
Note: This is not the web site of the Capital Southeast Connector
Joint Powers Authority ("Connector JPA"), that site is at http://connectorjpa.net/
. This web site, www.sierrafoot.org
belongs to an individual who has been involved in civic advocacy in El
Dorado Hills, California since 1992, including service as president of
the El Dorado Hills Citizens Alliance. My background with the Connector
project began in July, 2005, when it was a project of SACOG - the Sacramento
Area Council Of Governments - before the project was transferred to a new Joint Powers Authority (JPA).
acknowledged the key issue for El Dorado Hills, route alignment using
White Rock Road with no proposed alternatives, in July, 2005. The JPA
still failing to address it five years later despite repeated
advocacy by groups of EDH citizens.
Southern Bypass Alternative Proposal is being submitted to the County
of El Dorado and the Capital Southeast Connector JPA to recommend a
Concept Alternative to benefit El Dorado Hills as well as the other
localities served by the Connector.
origin of the problem matches the origin of the Connector project in
late 2002, with the initial Concept Plan developed in 2003 and 2004.
The SACOG Policy Advisory Committee overseeing the Connector finalized
the Concept Plan in 2005. Oversight of the Connector was transferred to
a new Joint Powers Authority (JPA) at the end of 2006. Since then the
JPA has pressed forward into California environmental review for the
project at the level of a program Environmental Impact Statement. The
Connector itself was renamed to the Capital Southeast Connector.
doing so the JPA has devoted substantial attention to four alternative
alignments for parts of the Connector in Sacramento County, as well as
three sub-alignments for local alternatives in the Sheldon area, a
small community near Elk Grove. It has done nothing to commission
corresponding studies of alternatives needed by El Dorado Hills. El
Dorado Hills is the largest city in El Dorado County, with a current
population of about 43,000, more than 4 times that of the County's only
incorporated city west of Lake Tahoe.
designated Connector alignment in El Dorado Hills is used as one of the
two most traffic-critical local streets in EDH. EDH could reach the
buildout population limit of about 80,000 population before 2025 if
local housing growth returns to its pre-recession rate. El Dorado Hills
needs the Connector to fulfill two of its stated goals:
- Remove regional traffic from local streets
- Reduce traffic on local freeways by providing a separate regional expressway.
Connector history can be tracked through original source documents in the Documents Archive.
Detail pages for the Connector JPA discussion are:
The two most significant documents defining the Connector:
Connector JPA (Joint Powers Authority) has been exceptional among local
agencies in intransigence, incompetence in oversight of an engineering
project, and in other dimensions of failure. Some specific points:
and objectives of the Connector project are in part to reduce traffic
congestion on local street in cities served by the Connector. The basic
route alignment alternatives do this for Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, and
Folsom by drawing traffic out of the cities and onto the Connector. In
El Dorado Hills, the Connector is planned to use an existing local
street, one of the two carrying the heaviest traffic loads in the city,
in the area of Town Center, the El Dorado Hills Business Park, and
several residential areas.
The Connector will increase traffic where its goals and objectives require decreasing traffic.
JPA documents show precisely one relevant document: A
consultant's study of traffic demand in El Dorado Hills on the
designated Connector alignment. See White Rock Road Daily Traffic Counts for a graph showing these details:
Existing traffic levels in the JPA document understate traffic
measured in 2009 by the El Dorado County Department (DOT) of
Transportation by as much as a factor of 5.
-- JPA estimates for White Rock Road traffic in 2035 are barely above 2009 actual (measured) traffic levels.
-- JPA estimates for White Rock traffic on the east side of Latrobe Road in 2035 are 1/3 of County DOT's estimated traffic for 2025.
See White Rock Road Daily Traffic Counts for additional notes.
- To date, the JPA has failed to do even a requirements analysis for El Dorado Hills.
personally: As a recently retired software engineer it is
incomprehensible how this situation could persist for years. As a
homeowner in El Dorado Hills it is very troubling that our city's needs
are not only being ignored, but the plan now being set in motion is
harmful in the area of our most critical issue: Traffic.
See Connector JPA business for additional notes.
- Five years after EDH requests for alternative route alignments began the JPA still is taking no action,
and instead is pressing forward with a CEQA (environmental) process to
use the alignment which is harmful rather than beneficial to El Dorado
documents through mid-2010 show that the only work in progress on
alterative alignments is for (a) the four alternatives within
Sacramento County that were originally identified by SACOG, and (b)
three sub-alternatives in answer to complaints from the Sheldon
The problems with this route (White
Rock Road through El Dorado Hills) have been immediately evident to EDH
residents and El Dorado County Supervisors. Expressions ranging from
concern through vocal opposition have come from sources including the
Four Seasons Civic League, the El Dorado Hills Citizens Alliance, and
the Bass Lake Action Committee. All have called for identification of
alternative route alignments to bypass the critical area of El
Dorado Hills as the Connector does for the other cities on its route.
See Connector JPA business for additional notes.
would be a better alternative for El Dorado Hills as well as for other
communities served by the Connector? Many among us in El Dorado Hills
have proposed alternatives and even more have requested that the JPA
See Southern Bypass Alternative for a new suggestion, covering the entire area served by the Connector, instead of focusing only on El Dorado Hills.