Residents speak out and make a difference

Kudos to the people of Susanville who spoke up and to the Susanville City Council and Caltrans for listening to them before making a final decision regarding the striping of Main Street in Uptown Susanville. This time at least, government worked as it should.

One local politician, viewing the situation facing the council noted it’s easy to make a decision when all the voices are one side; it’s much more difficult when they’re more evenly split down the middle.

One city leader said he was happy so many residents showed up at a pair of council meetings to express their opinions. In fact, he said he wished that such citizen participation happened more frequently.

Yes, it appears those who disapproved of the Caltrans striping plan to reduce Main Street to one lane of traffic in each direction carried the day, it’s important to remember a sentence in the Caltrans announcement that the state agency would abide by the council’s recommendation to leave Main Street as it is.

“Please note,” Caltrans wrote, “future projects in or near Susanville may include bike lanes and other changes.” Caltrans only has jurisdiction in Susanville on Highway 36 and Highway 139.

Have the people started a local trend? Some residents wonder if those who oppose the county’s revision of Title 18 — which allegedly will allow “dispensaries, testing facility and commercial cultivation” of marijuana — will show up at the supervisors meeting at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13 to make their voices heard and change the board’s direction. Politics isn’t always pretty, but it works best when the citizens are engaged.