Thursday, April 25, 2024

Light's relocation is a fix in search of a problem

| February 27, 2024 1:00 AM

As west-of-Boyer Pine Street residents who often cross Fifth Avenue by foot and by car, the proposed Church Street stoplight relocation one block south seems like a fix looking for a problem. 

For an approximately $350,000 price and the removal of a mature tree, the project will do little to alleviate traffic in central Sandpoint; it simply shifts a disproportionate amount of traffic onto Pine Street, which already shoulders more than its share. What’s more, the existing one-way block of Pine between Fourth and Fifth avenues is slated to become two-way; this one-way stretch of Pine has helped foster a tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare and mix of residences along with the small, authentic businesses that give our town the character we so esteem.

Pine Street is a bona-fide neighborhood with a unique mix of businesses, residences, parks, and lovely trees. It makes the best of a present traffic situation that includes too many vehicles traveling too fast, along a route that serves as a primary artery for children going to school and playing at neighborhood parks.

The current plan will not be money well spent and could bring about buyer’s remorse, especially if unforeseen, pricey consequences come into play. Time for a rethink that prioritizes keeping traffic more evenly spread across the area.