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Letter To The Editor: Drivers And Walkers Awake

on March 16, 2016 - 6:10pm
Los Alamos

Drivers and Walkers Awake … Or else, the planned roundabout at the intersection of Trinity and Central will force drivers to travel in conflicting “circular” paths (or find another route) and pedestrians will be negotiating for their lives and limbs with vehicles intent on making it through the roundabout (or stay away).

The N.M. 502 improvement project plans now call for the installation of a two-lane, 25 mph roundabout at the intersection of Trinity and Central. Construction is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2017 at a total project cost estimated to be $7.1 million, according to NMDOT.

Several Los Alamos County residents including myself have written Letters opposing construction of this roundabout on the grounds of inadequate comfort and safety for motorists and pedestrians. We predict that the planned roundabout will fail to meet the “N.M. 502 Trinity Design Project” objectives, which include improved effectiveness and safety in handling motor vehicle traffic and pedestrian crossings.

For those who wish to better understand the problems that are likely to arrive if/when this roundabout is built, further information is available on my website at For the short version, follow the link “Project update - 2016”. If you care about details, the site also contains a general discussion of roundabouts, links to several examples, and plenty of Los Alamos County roundabout planning history.

If you oppose the planned roundabout, now is the last possible time to express yourself. It’s clear that, unless many citizens seek to halt the roundabout, the project and the roundabout will go forward as planned. I have little doubt that a massive expression of opposition is necessary in order for the County Council to reconsider the N.M. 502 “improvement” project’s direction. Even with the present efforts, there is no guaranty that the Council will change the structure of the project.

I am launching a petition, both paper and online, with text as follows.

We, the undersigned, request that the Los Alamos County Council take the following actions:

(1) stop preparations for the roundabout at Trinity and Central immediately;

(2) arrange to replace the planned roundabout with a signalized intersection; and

(3) adopt a moratorium on roundabout planning for any and all Los Alamos County arterial streets such as East Road, Trinity Drive, and Diamond Drive for a period of 10 years.

Thank you for your consideration.

I invite any Los Alamos County resident who is a registered voter to sign the paper or the online petition. Signatures on paper will have more weight than online “signatures”, every signer in either format will help get the message to the Council.

The paper petition will be available for signature in the lobby of Mesa Public Library from Wednesday, March 16 through 3 p.m. Friday, March 18.

A link for signing the online petition will appear on starting Wednesday, March 16.

Signatures and comments obtained by 3 p.m. Friday, March 18 will be printed and submitted to the Council immediately.

Signatures and comments online will be collected until midnight March 31.

I encourage you to attend the relevant Council Meeting—probably in early April. The exact meeting details will be posted on the website as soon as they are known.

I give the drivers, walkers, and bikers of Los Alamos County my best regards and wishes for many safe and efficient transit experiences.

Thank you.