Caltrans says no to public request for meeting

olanchaA number of Olancha residents are still seething over how Caltrans has handled the four-lane project through their town and property. Citizens asked for a public meeting on the Caltrans plan, but on Monday Caltrans Director Tom Hallenbeck sent a letter to the Inyo Local Transportation Commission to say there will be no meeting until the final environmental document is done.

After many years of public meetings on five alternatives, Caltrans Director Hallenbeck created a new alternative which he says is a combination of alternatives 3 and 4 with a four-lane highway around Olancha to the west, over the Los Angeles Aqueduct and back out through Cartago.

Those who own land and businesses in Olancha and Cartago say the new alternative was created without public input.  Land owner Jeffrey Bohl  of Olancha said of the Caltrans plan, “It has no link to the public.”  Bohl said the new alternative will by-pass Olancha with major impacts on the community and on the land to the west where people like to recreate.  “How would Bishop feel,” said Bohl, “if suddenly their town were bypassed and their recreation land interrupted by a four-lane highway?”

Bohl and others believe the four-lane could be done on the East with far fewer impacts and use of the existing two lanes for a lot less money.  Bohl wants to know why Caltrans would mothball the current highway, and spend up to $60 million more on an 8 to 12 mile highway to the West when the State nears bankruptcy,

Bohl also has concern that Inyo County’s Planning Department has no plan for the future of Southern Inyo.  Bohl said, “Southern Inyo has a right to grow like anyone else.”

Bohl also points to $4 to $6 million Caltrans may have spent on environmental studies on the new alternative that he says they failed to disclose to the public.  Said Bohl, “It smells like special interest all the way.  We need to have a meeting now.”

We placed a call to Caltrans Director Hallenbeck, but he was out of town and unavailable for comment.  We hope to speak with him next week.


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68 Responses to Caltrans says no to public request for meeting

  1. Tim Fesko March 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Sounds like “big government” has no concern for the town, its economy, or its people. It seems that they are just concerned with moving people to the north!

    • Inyoite March 15, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

      CalTrans is concerned with moving people “north” rapidly through Inyo to Mammoth. What are you going to do about that if you’re elected in Mono, Tim?

    • JJ March 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

      Good thing Mr. Fesko is not going to win the election or he would become a part of big Government! Peters has this thing wrapped up.

    • sierragrl March 17, 2012 at 8:39 am #

      Yeah, cause certainly highways don’t move travelers both directions! LOL!

      • Big AL March 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

        LOl yeah sierragrl they should be able to move faster on their own heading south, as hey are lighter in the pockets.

        • jeffrey bohl March 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

          As you say they are lighter in their pockets!!! a good statement that proves my point!! people spend money in the towns of the owens valley when they go by!!! there is an economic effect for everyone along the existing corridor!! sometimes leaving things as they are is a good thing..If it works don’t fix it!!!

  2. Big AL March 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Here we go again lol

  3. Big AL March 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    Where is the recreation land again? Is this LADWP recreational land?

    And what about the numerous meetings mentioned in this news article, and yet people seem to say the state never held any meetings to discuss this project, at least that is what I have seen here.

    The route to the west is the best option, building a new alignment to the east will involve environmental issues..

    Oh yeah and also attack Inyo county for their lack of interest in the southern county’s future.

    And Mr. Bohl don’t just smell the special interest, prove it, otherwise keep it to yourself. and quit trying to excite people’s emotions.

    With the by pass out of the town’s center, there will be some good opportunities to create business, and “recreational interests”

    • Benett Kessler March 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      Just to clarify what Mr. Bohl was expressing. He was concerned because after year of meetings on five separate alternatives, Caltrans came up with a new alternative and that’s the one the Director chose. Members of the public are saying they would like to have a chance to speak about the newly created alternative. Benett Kessler

    • Trouble March 15, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

      Big Al- you fail to point out there is already a non-stop highway going thru Olancha. The other option is to leave it alone . That’s the best option in my opinion. It’s already paid for.

    • jeffrey bohl March 23, 2012 at 2:30 am #

      i will prove it when you come to the public meeting to discuss the preferred option in public…by the way i still see you didn’t give the people your name!!!

  4. Trouble March 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    Does Mr. Bolh realize that Bishops City Planner tried to get a bypassed approved this year. The city council meeting had about 30 people speak against it and 1 for it. I agree with Mr. Bohl 100% and hope Caltrans doesn’t bypass any of the businesses in either town. All this to save five minutes of drive time. What a waste.

    • sierragrl March 16, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      Personally, I think a major highway running right through Bishop is a detriment. Can you imagine how nice of a downtown area could be without all those trucks and traffic going right down mainstreet? Even sitting on the deck at Whiskey Creek, you have to stop your conversation and wait for trucks to go by. People of Bishop need to have faith in their town. You’d think Bishop was a sh*t hole the way its own people talk….”if traffic isn’t forced to go through our town, no-one will stop here”. Come on people, Bishop is a beautiful place with lots to offer. If you don’t believe in your town, who will?

      • Big AL March 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

        Trucks make up a big part of traffic coming through the valley, either from 395 in the north, highway 6 from the east, and 395 form the south.
        Sierragrl brings up a good point about truck traffic through the center of town, and how it effects the towns. Most of the truck traffic passes through with loads of commodities that do not really pose any threat to human health, but there are those that have potential, and some with a great potential to harm people.
        And these trucks pass through the center of town with the potential for a catastrophic event to occur that would be very tragic.
        Olancha/Cartego, Lone Pine, Independence, Bishop, Big Pine, Lee Vining, Bridgeport, Coleville all have the highway run right through the center of town, dead smack in the middle.
        The potential for loss of life is great, if something happened right in the middle of one of these towns, And yet people worry about potentially losing business.
        A by pass has not killed the town of Mojave, it is sort of a hub so it will not die. There has to be potential of some sort for a town to survive, otherwise it will die with or without a highway directly routed through it, or routed around it.

        • Trouble March 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

          Big Al- talk about pulling facts out of the blue or worse. This is not a important truck route . The 395 is one of the lowest traveled truck routes in California. Where’s Ken Warner’s facts when I need em ?

          • Big AL March 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

            All you have to do is count the truck traffic Trouble, It is not a mega truck route like 58 or 5, but it is an important truck route, find some facts yourself why rely on Ken to feed you facts.

          • jeffrey bohl March 22, 2012 at 9:18 am #

            i suggest “big Al be able to identify himself!!! other than big Al…what is your name?

      • Trouble March 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

        sierra girl- who’s back yard are you willing to re-route these cars and trucks threw? There is no such thing as a truck only highway in California that I know of. Any car can drive on truck routes. Whiskey Creek would lose a hugh amount of the Mammoth crowd. So would Schat’s and all the gas stations.

        • enoughalready March 18, 2012 at 10:31 am #

          There is plenty of room to the east of town away from anyones backyard for an alternative route. Most of the businesses in Bishop would be able to survive an alternative route.Most are well established and are a part of the community. Not to mentions embedded in the southern CA travel routines. If not, the businesses should take a look at their quailty of product and service.

          • jeffrey bohl March 23, 2012 at 11:36 am #

            again i say to Bishop citizens….you have a cool town…it is fun to drive through maybe takes five or ten minites…It is a town of character…and i think PEople like skiers have no problem with going to drive through Bishop..they get to stop if they want…there are good restaurants and a pleasant alternative to the crazy world of southern california!!! The point is there are so many other better uses of the money, why take the expense to propose something that is not necessary!!!

            The road from the intersection of 395 to Adelanto and the fifteen is the road that needs to be addressed now!!! that is a real problem and totally inadequate..that is what should go first!!! so let’s take a look at the bigger picture…Also there is a forty mile two lande section to Mojave that could be widened…come on caltrans…get with it!!! pretend it is your money and you have a budget..would’nt you rather fix those sections of road instead?? I guess that’s another reasone why you need the public involved becasue sometimes you just miss the common sense answers!!! don’t be afraid of the public!!! :):):)

        • Bob Loblaw March 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

          Frankly, the folks I know who go to Schat’s will happily bail off a major highway to stop there. And the people who stop at Whiskey Creek will do so as well. If they were in some sort of hurry they would hit the drive through, or wait 45 minutes.

      • jeffrey bohl March 23, 2012 at 3:12 am #

        the point is bishop does not need to have a bypass road!!! there is nothing wrong with driving into bishop..
        the state of california is you understand?

        it is fine to drive through Bishop and it is fine to drive through Olancha!!
        we do not need to bad for all the big shots that cna’t affoird to drive through town..let them pay for the new road!! the truth is they don’t pay for it!! and when the state of California and the USA have budget surpluses, then talk about the bypassas a realistic option..until then save money!!!

  5. Roy March 16, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    I drive 395 thru Olancha 25-30 times a year for decades..I have never encountered a traffic jam or heavy traffic…It doesn’t kill me to slow down for 1 or 2 minutes…I can not see any reason at all to bypass the town…It just seems to me a huge waste of taxpayer money.

    • Wayne Deja March 16, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      Roy…..I think a lot depends on safety more so than getting to Mammoth Lakes quicker for the tourists….You say” It doesn’t kill me to slow down for 1 or 2 minutes”….that is one of the problems through there….people DON’T slow down through town…and like Steve Reese(someone who lives there)says,it’s only going to get worse in the next few years.

    • sierragrl March 16, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      It can’t stay the way it is, for some reason there is a high accident rate in this area, and I personally know of two families devastated by the deaths of family members in this area. So, please, with reality in mind, I’d like to hear what you prefer….a huge wide highway going right through Olancha or one off to the side?

      • Big AL March 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

        Good post sierragrl

      • Wayne Deja March 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

        One off to the side…much safer for everyone….

  6. Steve Reese March 16, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    My wife and I live and own are house in Olancha. We have attended all of the CalTrans meetings for the highway improvement.

    At first we were with the “keep it where it is” group. But after reading the reports of the future use doubling in the next 20 years, with trucks coming past Olancha and Cartago at one every minute on average. This will make a very unsafe condition into an extremely unsafe condition.

    The Caltrans planers are looking at it this way also. They are trying to make it safe for locals and travelers alike.

    The people looking to keep it where it is. Are doing so with the theory of forcing the traffic to run threw town will some how make them want to stop and spend money. This will some how keep property values high and we will all get rich.

    I think what Olancha and Cartago would get is the community split down the middle with a wide 4 lane expressway running at 70 plus mile per hour and no vehicles stopping to spend money. So for property values this is a bust. You all know ” Location Location Location” so will your property be worth more by describing it as next to the expressway. Or describing it as a wonderful quite small town setting with easy access to the expressway.

    That is why My wife and I are for the current Caltrans bypass of Olancha. It will be safer, keep the town from being split in half and keep the value of are property.

    • Ash Seiter March 16, 2012 at 11:44 am #

      Doubling In the next 20 years? I highly doubt that. With rising fuel prices and the continued decline of our economy, the likelihood of continued growth in traffic on 395 is uncertain at best.

      CalTrans is looking after its own interests, so of course they would throw out “statistics” like that to justify them building a brand new corridor rather than expanding the current one. They don’t care about this community and the dangers of cross traffic, they only care about designing the largest project possible to keep their funding flowing. Like all government agencies, if they don’t use their funds, they risk losing them the following year.

      I for one would like to see the hard data that proves an increase of 100% in traffic in 20 years. Very likely, that hard data simply does not exist.

      I understand the issue of property value, but what of the businesses in Olancha? Is it worth your modest increase in land value to lose the few remaining employers in the community?

      Something to think about.

      • Big AL March 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

        Safety always comes first until it costs money, either by costing someone more money, or takes away money from them .. That seems to be the issue people are dwelling on with respect to this.
        Four lanes of highway, running through it … Right now, there is currently two lanes of traffic that pass through town.
        At one time, traffic was allowed to drive through Olancha Cartego at a higher rate than is currently allowed
        The people of the community objected to speeding traffic through their towns, and demanded that the speeds be lowered.
        When I drive through this area, I respect the lower speed, and then the transient traffic pretty much runs you over, tells you you’re number one, for being in their way. Some still do not respect the lowered speed.
        If the current two lane alignment is widened to the desired four lane option that some locals want, what they do not realize .. or maybe do not understand, or just don’t care about it .. is that the four lane option will be 5 lanes of traffic. Four lanes for through traffic and a center two way turn lane.
        A big slice of land … right through the middle of town. With the loss of land, and businesses will be right on the road side, not near it.
        As for loss of business, if the four lane options goes through, the Ranch house is gone, they are considering selling out any way … if the four lane option goes through … Cha Ching, they will sell for sure. Half of their business most likely will be in the new right of way.
        I hear the gas station at the other end of town is not doing so well .. of course, it has always struggled, and … it is on the existing highway. What’s up with that?
        So I think,either way, f the alternatives or the local favorite go, unless the community tries to pull it out, business will cease .. pretty much. Some people don’t seem understand, it won’t be a bypass that kills a town, it is what they do or do not do with their town. Get the highway right out of the middle and you can do more with it, and make it desirable for people to stop. but most people will want to stop in Lone Pine or Bishop, usually, although, occasionally, they will stop elsewhere.

    • jeffrey bohl March 22, 2012 at 9:29 am #

      hello Steve…

      No one has ever said we do not want to improve the safety…All of the points of view expressed are another reason that shows Caltrans should have had the transperancy to have a public meeting on the preferred choice…should have been upfront and gotten the conscent first of the peoeple and then went ahead and spent the money;..If you went to all the hearings, you would have found out that Caltrans at all of them said option one was the most feasible…practicle…choice…we need a meeting first…get the conscent and consensus..that is how government is supposed to work..they work for us!!! we do not work for them…Their debts are encombering our future!!

      The sad fact is, putting the road at the base of the mountains creates a huge environmental issue for everyone that lives in Olancha…maybe you never go to the backcountry or even look at the mountains????? i do not want to look at a four lane freeway in front of the view!!!! maybe it doesn’t matter to you…but I would argue the environmental consequences are far less by buyiolding a road to the east if this is something you taxpayers want..the problem is , the state is going broke and caltrans wants to choose the more expensive option..where does the money come from..more debt!!! we have to live within our means and you people that don’t understand this, miss the point…Caltrans wants to throw away a perfectly good two lane road!! put the other two lanes to the, no environmental issues…simple..and save money…

      • Bob Loblaw March 22, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

        Environmentally speaking that will entail routing a 4 lane highway through what appears to be a wetland to me. That would seem to me to be considerably worse for the environment. Despite the damage to the “View Shed”, environmentally I can’t seem to see how routing it to the west is any worse for the environment.

  7. Ash Seiter March 16, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    I do believe some public pressure is in order to force CalTrans to hold a public hearing on the new alternative route. It is undemocratic how they have unilaterally decided for us what is in our best interests, especially since the environmental impact study was internal and has not been disclosed. As citizens of the United States and residents of the Owens Valley we should be outraged at CalTrans for their shady approach to this issue, and demand that our voices be heard. It’s our taxes that will pay for this project, so it is essentially our decision to make.

  8. Trouble March 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Steve- your argument with for seen traffic issues is complete hog wash in my book. Olancha has no traffic problems to speak of and never will. There are thousands of issues that need to be addressed in this state before we waste sixty million more dollars.

    • Benett Kessler March 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

      As for traffic problems, Caltrans’ Cedric Zemitis told us that from January of 1999 through December of 2008 135 accidents occurred in the Olancha area with 16 fatalities and 121 injuries. So, four lanes would certainly help with those tragedies. The cost and method remains a question. Benett Kessler

      • Roy March 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

        Curious as to how many of those accidents were gross vehicle code violations such as driving way over the speed limit, unsafe passing, drunk driving etc..Bypassing the town isn’t going to eliminate the reckless and unsafe drivers.

        • Bob Loblaw March 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

          So you wouldn’t mind if some moron passing unsafely opts to wipe out you and your family? Violations or otherwise, this doesn’t erase the damage caused. I think you’ll find most accidents, everywhere boil down to carelessness or disregard for the law.

      • Trouble March 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

        Benett-I am surprised to see your reply to this issue. If the stats you quote are correct, I would agree there is a serious problem that needs to be fixed in Olancha area. I just ask you and Mr. Reese to please don’t point to trucks or truck drivers as the problem here. Is there any proof that truck drivers are to blame for any of these accidents? Or is this really a issue of people trying to pass other cars unsafely?

        • Benett Kessler March 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

          What’s surprising about supplying details of information that people want? I’m not pointing to any particular type of vehicle. Come on trouble, quit looking for…uh…trouble. Benett Kessler

          • Trouble March 17, 2012 at 4:57 am #

            Benett- I really want to argue the bone head idea the Bishop City Planner came up with called the Bishop Truck Loop.But I think that’s a dead issue now. And yes I enjoy a little trouble ever now and then.

        • Big AL March 16, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

          So where did you pull that out from Trouble, about trucks … in her post? Yeah Mr. Reese mentioned trucks, but he did not say truck drivers are unsafe. He meant the problem with trucks in general.
          There is a problem with trucks, a lot of inherent issues with their size, their commodities .. etc ..
          And to be truthful, yes there is a problem with some of the drivers. As is with a lot of things now days, Truck drivers are having to deal with more and more incompetent drivers getting behind the wheel.
          There are still a fair amount of good truck drivers out there, but the number of bad drivers is increasing.
          I have driven truck, my brother drives truck over the road, so I am not slamming drivers in general. Even some drivers will tell you the same thing, there are a lot of wanna be truck drivers out there driving trucks. A lot have even taken truck driving classes or schools.
          So if you’re going to say something like that .. get it straight lol

          • Trouble March 17, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

            Big Al- Mr. Reese stated there would be a truck every minute coming down the 395. Plus he said traffic will double in 20 years. I call that hog wash and expect more hog wash coming my way complements of you.

          • Big AL March 18, 2012 at 10:10 am #

            Why thank you very much Trouble, I take that as a compliment, at least I am getting the truth out there it seems, if you feel it is hog wash then the truth must be effective .. feel free to wallow in it ..

            I would say also, that Mr. Reese has stated some truth about trucks traffic. I’d say that as it is at this time, there is a truck traveling through any given point on the route, about every 1.5 – 2.1 minutes.
            I,m not sure that that will increase to one truck every 1.0 minutes in the near future, but with a strong economic recovery that could very well be the case.
            US 395 is an important commerce route, a lot of trucks travel it during any given day.
            with a stronger economy, yes it could double in 20 years, but will it do that, will the economy improve to the point that we realize that increase amount of traffic, maybe, or maybe not. It doubled in the same amount of years prior to the recession.

    • Big AL March 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

      60 million .. really trouble? talk about shady .. really?

      • Big AL March 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

        It seems people can pull a lot of figures and so called facts from somewhere and make it hog wash lol

      • Trouble March 17, 2012 at 5:01 am #

        Big Al- I pulled that figure out of this article above. Look up!

        • Big AL March 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

          I did? lol

          • Big AL March 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

            Ahh you did OK that’s what I thought OK

  9. JeniferCastaneda March 17, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Obviously A Mistake

    CalTrans decision to bypass Olancha is ridiculous. The residents, the business owners and the Board of Supervisors all stated their preference to be Alt #1, widen the existing corridor. The County has a stated goal and policy of “no bypass”. The cost to taxpayers of building a new 4 lane hwy far exceeds adding 2 lanes to the current hwy. Likewise it is obvious the environmental impacts would be greater, not to mention they want this new hwy to be built west of the homes and in the view shed of the Sierra. The County will face more cost in taking over the maintenance of portions of the old 395 and receive less property tax revenue due to resulting lowered commercial property values. This recent decision ignores the sentiments of the people, is far more expensive and has greater environmental impacts. It is no wonder they have decided to not have any further meetings for public input, their decision is obviously wrong!

    • Trouble March 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

      Jenifer- I believe you have stated the best argument and solution here. Hope Caltrans listens to someone like you.

  10. tahoeite March 17, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    The accident rate in Olancha is a hard fact. It is not just a blip in a statistical calculation. I think we all realize while we and others drive through this area we are typically in a hurry, and usually are not expecting someone to slam their breaks on ahead of us, or start an unsafe pass. This stretch of 395 should have been one of the first stretches with new four lane, it should have happened 20 years ago. Once the project starts, the Ranch House Cafe business will likely double due to the highway workers all eating there. When the job finishes, in my opinion the cafe’s business will likely increase because it will be safer to stop there. During my travels through this section, I would never consider trying to make a left from the northbound lanes to stop there (just isn’t worth it). I been through there a hundreds of other times, and can’t recall another business that I would ever consider stopping at. I am extremely happy to see that Caltrans is not delaying this project. In my opinion, they have already held too many public meetings. The revised plan seems to be minor enough to not warrant dragging this out further. I too like Sierragirl have friends that are part of the statistics in Olancha. Thank you Mr Hallenback for making the tough decision, and moving on with the project.

  11. Bill D March 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Now that most of 395 north of the merge with 14 is four lane, I really don’t mind the 10 mph slowdown through Olancha. I think Caltrans should spend this money to put in more four lane passing zones south of the junction for both highways.

    • Wayne Deja March 18, 2012 at 11:30 am #

      One of the problems is people don’t slow down thru Olancha and Cartago…55 speed limit or not…and to the point if your not going 65+,chances are you’ll get hit from behind or passed illegally.

      • Rob March 19, 2012 at 9:26 am #

        People drive to fast everywhere. What’s the rush?

  12. Tim March 18, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    If this goes thru. It will be just like what caltrans did to mojave. By-pass it with a highway. A lot of business closed. This will happen all the way from Olancha to Bishop.. SO look out for anything that caltrans or the LADWP has in their back pocket. It’s coming to a town near where you live.

    • Big AL March 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm #


      you are misinformed about Mojave, and are further spreading misinformation. There have only been a few businesses that have closed in that town. The businesses that have closed, have closed for various reasons unrelated to the by pass.
      The remaining businesses that are still open who rely on the highway traffic for the bulk of their business are still doing OK. Many of these are fast food restaurants, gas stations, and motels. There are several businesses around town that service mostly the local residents, they are doing ok, they hold their own, they do not rely on transient traffic for their livelihood.
      Take a look at businesses in Bishop, there have been several come and go, but most of those have been businesses that have tried to offer a certain service or commodity, that there just wasn’t a good market for or they might have been too high priced, for what ever reason, sometimes they just don’t make it.
      The restaurant in Olancha next to the jerky place, I have seen that particular restaurant open and close and reopen several times over the years, I don’t know if it is currently open at this time, maybe Gus should take it over and expand his jerky sales. He seems to be the only successful business there that relies on highway traffic.
      If the town hasn’t made a come back by now .. with the current highway route running through the town, how is it going to do this unless people in the town endeavor to improve it.

      • Rob March 19, 2012 at 9:29 am #

        Only a few business in Mojave closed due to the bypass?

        There wasn’t to many businesses to start with. The bypass hurt Mojave plenty!

        • Big AL March 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

          I disagree Rob, there are a lot of business … several motels, several gas stations, several fast food restaurants, a truck stop, a grocery store, a two car dealers, a donut shop laundry/cleaners, and a few others I can’t recall right now.I’ve only seen one fast food restaurant and one family diner restaurant close.
          You could argue that the drop in transient traffic, might have contributed to closing of the Wendys fast food restaurant, you could … maybe say it led to Grazionos closing. KTM of Mojave closed too, that surprised me, but I don’t think they were effected by loss of transient traffic, most of their business came from people out of the LA area going to Red Rock for off road recreation.
          Again, the death of a town doesn’t relate to loss of traffic on the highway, it is directly a result of the town’s ability to stay vitalized.

          • jeffrey bohl March 22, 2012 at 9:36 am #

            we are not talking about mojave!!! we are talking about Olancha and the choice to build the road to the west!!! stick to the facts and tell us who you are!!! that is What is your name and will you come to a public forum for debate?

          • Trouble March 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

            Big Al- to list all the closures as you did, then say traffic doesn’t have anything to do with it is nuts.

        • sierragrl March 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

          i don’t think so Rob…almost everything that closed, closed BEFORE the bypass. The main restaurant I stop at, Primos, is still going strong, as is Grazianos. The Arby’s closed well before the bypass.

  13. Eamon McNamara March 18, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    To the east of Olancha is nothing but wetlands and in a desert, that is priceless. The west alignment is by far the best choice for residents and travelers alike. There is no requirement that there be a public meeting for a combination of two, already analyzed alternatives.

    • Sierra Lover March 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

      What about the unobstructed View of the Sierra? Now their serene view will be traffic and trucks!?

      • Eamon McNamara March 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

        The Inyo County General Plan doesn’t guarantee viewsheds and BLM (who manages most of the land around Olancha) already considers the area “impaired.” Viewshed is not a political or environmental issue and unrelated to the project. If the residents were so concerned with “business in Olancha” they would either open stores or spend as much of their money as possible in Olancha….if Olancha was so concerned with views then they would clean up their own community, which is an eye sore at the moment….the only nice looking thing in Olancha is the mountain range which isn’t in Olancha!

  14. Steve Reese March 19, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Back after a lovely weekend in Olancha. I see that my last post has some support and some questions.
    Yes the stats came from the Caltrans meetings. The reason the truck traffic will double is because Nevada has no warehouse tax. This makes it the best state to send all the goods shipped to the USA. It comes into the port of Los Angeles then by truck to huge warehouses in Nevada like Amazon.

    Also from the meetings the 4 lane project started in 1955. The plan was to make 4 lanes from Mojave to the Nevada state line. As we all can tell this takes time. Because of that the money was allocated years ago and is not effected by the currant economy.

    Also the majority of the bypass can be built without traffic having to slow down or run past detours because the bypass road building can be finished first then opened for traffic. This makes it better for all who travel in the area. So we can say no to two years of construction that will impact us all.

    On the point of “view shed of the Sierra” the bypass will be in the lower part of the view along with the LA Aqueduct and the high volt transmission lines. It will not effect the view of the Sierra Nevada’s.

  15. Big Rick O'Brien March 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    I say the cheapest solution is SPEED-BUMPS! (Parody…not to be taken seriously)

    • Big AL March 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

      LOL Rick … on the heels of the pit maneuver and the spike strips episode .. that’s funny .. (not to be taken seriously .. either).

  16. A Local March 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    In my opinion Cal Trans should concentrate their efforts on dividing the highway North of Red Rock Canyon (on Hwy 14) to the intersection of 395 and 14. Also they should start working dividing HWY 395 South of the intersection of 14 and 395. These areas are horrible. Olancha is a piece of cake to drive compared to these areas!


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