Question of the Week answers: Roads ready for housing growth?

Highway 156 is shown from a hillside.

Question of the Week panelists and readers answered the following:
Do you believe San Benito County’s roads are ready for a population growth spurt with an abundance of new housing?
Isabella Zanger: Now would be a good time for forward thinking. Consider constructing bicycle lanes in all roadways. Savvy cities realize what people want and build bicycle lanes. Rather than boring “Stop Signs” how about interesting “Round Abouts” at all intersections? The homeless population already clears the roadways of recyclables so pay the homeless for clearing the roadways of trash. Plant lots of roadside trees. Trees remind us of the orchards of the past. More important, they will capture the exhaust CO2 and redeem the air with fresh O2.
Keith Snow: No, I do not agree with the population of the abundant housing and growth due to the fact that they don’t have enough traffic control for more population in this city and county. In order for it to work, you have to structure a better plan.
Bill Mifsud: No, definitely not. When the mayor expresses concern, that is troubling. Highway 25 traffic crawls home on commute hours. Highway 156 will only worsen once the Del Webb project begins. The city is not being proactive on the traffic issues as we continue to build and build more.
Cesar Flores: No. I believe that the deplorable conditions of some our city and county roads will deteriorate even more with the increase of traffic.
Ann Ross: No. But, the money needed to repair the roads isn’t available. It’s a Catch-22. Better roads require funds from a larger tax-base population, but a larger tax-base population requires better roads to successfully integrate into our community. Solution is: Damage control: Fix roads most heavily impacted by the various spurts as they occur using funds obtained from the previous spurt. The city should fix city roads. The county should fix county roads; and local officials should lobby hard to get relief and cooperation to repair roads shared with other counties until we catch up.
Nants Foley: I am especially concerned about the outflow onto Fairview. There are school buses, agricultural machines and speeding commuters sharing that thoroughfare. It is definitely not able to support a growth spurt!
Ruth Erickson: No!
Nyane Gonzalez: This town is not ready for rapid growth. What jobs are there to offer all these new residents? I live here and don’t even work here. I try as much as possible to spend locally but it’s hard when I spend so much time out of town feeding other towns’ money instead of my own.
Richard Place: The purpose of impact fees is to pay for the impact that’s caused by the new home owner that pays them. When a new homeowner buys a new home he pays in advance for those services he will receive. Now because of poor government planning they want to increase taxes to pay for what they already paid for.
Shana Strohn: Drive any of the roads in San Benito County rural or urban and you decide! Then let your supervisor know.
Jenna Howard: Unfortunately, no. Highways 25 and 156 are regularly at a crawl during peak commute hours. Downtown roads are full of pot holes and cracks. Our plumbing in our streets is constantly in need of repair and there are frequent road closures due to those constant ongoing repairs.
Merri Vieira: San Benito County roads are not ready for the growth as well as our water capacity. I am just as worried about the water shortage as I am about the dangerous road conditions.
Sean Fruit: No. There are already too many cars aggressively jockeying for too few lanes, and too many people who still think they don’t have to pay attention because it’s a “small town”. How long before another kid gets hit by a bus?
Leslie Frye Sonne: Nope. Not even close. Would laugh if I thought it was a joke, but know it isn’t so no laughing here.
Note: As of press time, 18 others on Facebook responded with various forms of “no” answers.

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