Beautifying our Highway 96 face:
by Judy Bushy
It was such a pleasure to meet Sandi Tripp again at a meeting last Monday at the Elementary School. Sandi is a Happy Camper, and her dad, Dave Tulledo was also at the meeting. Sandi was here in her capacity for Karuk Transportation. She brought Josh and Jeff from Chico who had a power point presentation and with grand illustrations of the Highway 96 section through the center of the town of Happy Camp, both as it presently appears and ideas for improvement! Sandi also brought Kelly and Kendee from Redding all the way to Happy Camp to answer questions about a grant, part of the Middle Klamath River Community Transportation Plan.
You know, it is apparent to drivers and pedestrians that safety on Hwy 96 can be improved. One is sometimes amazed that we don’t have more accidents. Much as I find driving in the “big city” more stressful and unpleasant, Nation-wide: 66% of the Highway fatalities are in rural areas. It was mentioned that through town there is such a large space between buildings that it’s a wide free for all, without definitions; where lanes are, and where bikes and pedestrians should be. Visitors to our community are often confused as to where it is appropriate to park!
Sidewalks, at least on the West side of 2nd Avenue, and north side of Highway 96 are included in the plan, with a challenge for sidewalk (American Disabilities Act compliant)up the hillside east of 2nd Avenue by the former Headway building (now Karuk Council & Senior Nutrition.) Another improvement for wheelchairs or strollers is replacing the steps on the bridge over Indian Creek on 2nd Avenue.
What an improvement better definition to the highway would make for those coming to our town and it would calm the traffic. With defined areas, vehicles, bikes and pedestrian traffic and parking, then esthetic components celebrating our community character and wayfinding signs to help navigate the community would top it all off.
It was important to those at the meeting, and presumably the business and residence owners in the area, that no additional easement takings are a part of the plan. However, there was more interest in electric and utility burial which was not part of the plan due to the increased expense. Grant competition is high for these improvements. Street lighting options, although shown on the graphic of the flier, would possibly have to be financed from other funds.
Davis Road would not be in the initial plan, but that area slated for improvement with the Greyback Improvement Plan from Federal planning (17.5 million dollars worth) mostly because the mile and a half up Indian Creek from Davis Road was the intersection area with more accidents than anywhere else in Siskiyou County, according to the planners at that time, wasn’t accomplished on last try. However, this a good start and includes vital improvements! There were suggestions that, after the first phase, more improvements might be made for Park Way to the Elementary School and better access to the High School as well in further plans.
What do you think is the most important improvement that would help the Happy Camp community?? Give me a call or e-mailwith your suggestions this week because I know you have great ideas!!
Sue Hillman and Lisa Scott evaluate the Hwy #96 improvement suggestions!