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Letter to the Editor: Trinity Drive Roundabout Revisited

on January 24, 2016 - 8:20am
By TONY AMSDEN
Los Alamos
 
It appears that the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) has granted Los Alamos a one-year reprieve from the planned N.M. 502/Trinity Drive improvements that originally were scheduled for 2016.

Although roundabout opponents succeeded in eliminating a string of roundabouts up and down the length of Trinity, one remains in the plan where Central Avenue and N.M. 502 meet on the east side of downtown. The state had originally planned on improving N.M. 502 from Airport Road to Knecht Street without a roundabout.

NMDOT reluctantly agreed to the roundabout based on Los Alamos community support. I maintain that public support for a roundabout is lukewarm at best.
One of the most outspoken proponents of roundabouts (and the bump-outs on Central) has since moved out of town, leaving the rest of us to deal with the results.

N.M. 502/Trinity traffic impacts many hundreds of commuters every day, but add to that all the anticipated visitors to the newly-created Manhattan Project National Historical Park and the Valles Caldera National Preserve who will be daunted by a roundabout at the entry to downtown. Is this how Los Alamos wants to welcome them?

This projected roundabout is very different from the one at the intersection of North Mesa and Barranca Mesa, which affects mainly locals who have gotten used to it.

There may still be time to stop this planned roundabout from happening. Speak up now. I suspect NMDOT would be relieved to hear that Los Alamos belatedly came to its senses.

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