Putting a bus on Red Fir Road has been a touchy subject for two years. The Town of Mammoth has been working with residents on Red Fir, and it seemed the public process was making headway and both parties were getting along. Residents on Red Fir stated that they did not need a bus to turn around on their street and the Town seemed to listen. Then, overnight, things changed and residents on Red Fir woke up to a bus turning around on their street.
Town Council had held a special meeting on August 26, the night before school started, and authorized a one-week trial of running the Lift out further into Old Mammoth and turning it around on Red Fir Road. Council made the decision in an effort to help the school district. With budget problems of its own, the district was in need of extra transportation for students. Twenty-two students have been riding the Lift in the past week.
“The bus doesn’t matter, it’s the process,” stated Tom Daniels, a resident on Red Fir. “We weren’t heard overnight.”
Both Councilmen Skip Harvey and John Eastman agreed.
“We fell down in the public process at last week’s meeting,” Eastman said.
“We should have shown that we have a public process and we follow it,” Harvey added.
Previous to the special meeting the agreement was that the Lift bus would turn around by Snowcreek Athletic Club. After hearing the outrage from Red Fir residents in the past week, the Town Council decided to move the bus’ turn-around spot further up Old Mammoth Road to La Verne Street.
“I will agree to that solution with one caveat,” Daniels said. “That it dovetails in with a traffic calming plan for Old Mammoth Road.”
In the past few years Old Mammoth Road has become a thoroughfare to the Lakes Basin. The road is not built for high volumes of traffic and Daniels was concerned that the bus going all the way to La Verne Street would complicated the steadily increasing traffic problems on the road.
Council approved moving the bus turnaround to La Verne Street and added approval of an action plan for traffic calming to be completed by summer 2010.