Sunday, April 5, 2015 — The Lassen County Transportation Commission reviewed and approved the final Park and Ride study report.
During the March 9 commission meeting, Traffic Works and Green Dot Transportation Solutions presented the report, which pointed out potential locations and funding opportunities, in hopes it would be added to the regional transportation plan to apply for grants.
“Without the document being … on the Regional Transportation Plan, it’s really not eligible to go out for the grant funds,” said Loren Chilson with Traffic Works “It does not mean you have to do it … but you can’t go anywhere without it.
A draft of the report was initially presented to the board, and a few revisions were made, according to Chilson, such as using circles instead of squares to locate potential park and ride positions, downplaying a selection in Janesville, providing park and ride examples and updating the funding information.
The two locations identified in the report were on South Skyline Road and Highway 36 Junction and another somewhere in Janesville. However, a specific location in Janesville could not be decided upon, although the consulting team believed a park and ride near A3 would be the best selection.
Additionally, the report mentioned three different potential sources of funding.
According to Chilson, the potential funding sources could have Lassen County being the lead and buying property, having the state own and operate it or finding different funding sources that could all contribute to it.
“What is clear is the land needs to be publicly owned and publicly maintained and operated,” said Chilson.
There we some concerns voiced by the commission.
Board member Brian Wilson wondered if the county could maintain the project into the future.
Commissioner Aaron Albaugh also questioned whether approving the study would place more responsibility of the project on the county.
Executive director Larry Millar said it would not tie the hands of the county by just approving the plan.
Wilson said he would like to see where Caltrans was on the project.
The idea of an official, legal park and ride came to fruition after some unregulated lots started causing problems.
“The lack of formalized park and ride lots has lead to a variety of highway safety and operational issues including unsafe driving, the tracking of mud and debris on to the highways, parked vehicles hindering highway maintenance and difficult maneuvers for Lassen Rural Bus drivers accessing these parking areas,” read the study.
According to the study, nearly 12 percent of drivers in Lassen County commute by carpool or vanpool.
Currently there is only one park and ride recognized by Caltrans at the Janesville Grade and Highway 395, but there are also several other unregulated lots frequently used by commuters.
The commission approved the plan 3-2, with Abaugh and Wilson voting against it. Board member Jim Chapman was not at the meeting.