Extract from Village Life June 23 - 29, 2004
Published by Life Newspapers LLC, a member of the McNaughton newspaper family.


Bass Lake group concerned about more traffic

By Janna Marlies Santoro, Staff writer

Bass Lake Road may be one of the highest traveled roads in the El Dorado County.

The road's dangers have been a point of contention with the Bass Lake Action Committee (BLAC) since its inception. The committee was formed just over a year ago to inform the Bass Lake residents on issues that affect the area.

At that time, BLAC voiced concern that the five acre regional park planned for the area would increase traffic and cause more problems on the unsafe road.

Now, the committee questions whether the Serrano Parkway connection to Bass Lake Road will hasten the increased traffic.

In a open letter to Supervisor Rusty Dupray, Kathy Prevost, BLAC President, wrote, "the opening of Serrano Parkway will bring an influx of traffic of those seeking to avoid El Dorado Hills Boulevard congestion and looking for a speedier access to Highway 50 and Green Valley Road.

Although there are plans to address the Bass Lake Road situation, the issue is quite complicated.

"The Bass Lake job is a big job," said Liz Diamond, interim director of the El Dorado County Department of Transportation. "It will spill into next spring."

To put it in a nutshell, Diamond said that two groups are set to deliver two projects.

Developers of Hollow Oaks, a new subdivision on Bass Lake Road, are responsible for the widening of Bass Lake Road from Highway 50 to about the fire station. They are also responsible for the construction of new Bass Lake Road that will continue north to Serrano Parkway along a new alignment to the west of the existing road.

The Serrano developers are responsible for building Serrano parkway to Bass Lake Road and a portion of the new Bass Lake Road from Serrano Parkway north to the existing Bass Lake Road.

But timing is everything.

Earlier this month, the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors approved the Public Facilities Financing Plan for the Bass Lake Hills Specific Plan. That means that funding is in place for these two road projects and construction can begin.

Prevost's letter expressed the committee's dissatisfaction with the prospect that Serrano Parkway would connect to Bass Lake Road before any of the other improvements take place. Her concern, she said, is that more cars will travel on the road before the dangers are improved by the planned projects.

Randy Pesses, a deputy director with the Department of Transportation, said that while the projects are not strictly linked, they should be completed closely in time with each other.

The Serrano Parkway connection will be "a substantial benefit to all folks of western El Dorado County," Pesses said. "There is no evidence that there would be substantial increased traffic because of that connection."

According to Diamond, both groups are "working feverishly" to complete their portion of the project, both of which are scheduled for this summer.

"It's is difficult to predict which will get done first," she said.

Diamond also said that the Serrano Parkway opening likely will lessen traffic on Bass Lake Road, explaining that residents of the Bass Lake area will probably turn onto Serrano Parkway instead of traveling all the way south to the highway.

Serrano Parkway would give drivers a way to get back and forth to El Dorado Hills without getting on the freeway, she said. With Silva Valley Road connecting to White Rock Road, these projects shoudl relieve overall congestion.

Traffic, like water, seeks its own level and spreads around, said Diamond.

"An alternative route is usually a good thing," she said.

E-mail Janna at jsantoro@villagelife.com.


Extracted/transcribed by Bass Lake Action Committee