David Hall, Moscow
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News, 1/18/13
Regarding Wayne Olson’s letter, Time for U.S. 95 Realignment (Letters, January 16, 2013):
Members of the Paradise Ridge Defense Coalition (PRDC) do not believe that the proposed eastern alignment is the safest option. One reason for doing the environmental impact study (besides that it is required by law) was to include a good analysis of the relative safety of each proposed alignment. It is apparent to most residents that the weather is “worse” in winter up on the ridge than it is along the current alignment – there is often more snow and fog up on the shoulder of the ridge, which makes driving more hazardous.
The highway could have been completed years ago if the Idaho Transportation Department had upgraded the highway along the present alignment, just as they did for the section to the south. And they could have put measures into place to make the existing road safer in the interim. They chose to do neither but instead insist on moving the highway into an arguably less-safe location. Part of their rationale for the eastern route is that it is the shortest, but it is a mere 0.09 of a mile shorter than the central alignment – a few hundred feet.
It is misguided to lay blame on PRDC and other folks who are as concerned about the public safety as is everyone else.
Anyone who wishes to learn more about this issue is invited to attend a forum at noon on Saturday at the 1912 Center in Moscow.