Mammoth Town Council: Main Street Plan, endangered species, and town manager

mainstreetFor many, Mammoth Lakes’ Main Street and entrance to the town needs a re-make, but the question has always remained – who will pay for it? Tonight, Planning Staff will offer the Town Council ideas for Main Street broken up in modest phases with the admission that the Town can not afford to pay for all of it.

Other past studies have focused on Mammoth’s Main Street but never made it past the concept phase. The current effort started a year ago and included public comments and opinions from Main Street business owners. The agenda item says the new plan includes ideas for improved parks and open space, direction for new development, support of all modes of travel, creation of a unique identity and solutions for parking and snow maintenance issues.

The agenda item report says planners selected a preferred alternative that they call the “grand avenue” option. Planners say short-term actions could include snow management and parking districts, landscaped medians, new intersection and pedestrian controls and new signage. More long-term action could include bus pull-outs, transit plazas, landscape buffers, a future cycle track and public parking.

The planning report candidly admits that the “total cost of the project is beyond the amount that the Town could fund alone….” The recommendation is partnerships with property owners and Caltrans. A consultant’s estimate last fall indicated total cost at over $18 million with early phases at a cost of $2 million to $5 million. The Town Council will sit for a one-hour workshop starting at 5pm with Planning Staff on the Main Street Plan and then decide whether or not to accept it later in the meeting.

They will also likely make a decision on whether or not to hire Interim Town Manager Dan Holler as the permanent manager. At the last meeting, the Council directed staff to come up with a proposed contract with Holler that could be considered in public.

Other agenda items include a response to endangered species listings and the Inyo Forest Plan and possible acceptance of recommendations from the Mammoth Lakes Recreation Steering Committee.



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22 Responses to Mammoth Town Council: Main Street Plan, endangered species, and town manager

  1. Ken Warner February 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    I used to worry about their plans for Main St. Now I realize, they will never be able to make a decision. And if they do make a decision, it will be so twisted and tangled that it will barely get started before it collapses. Remember the so called “Three Corners Development”? Nobody else does either.

    How about Old Mammoth Place or Shady Rest Tract? Over 10 years for both of those. They can’t even fix the streets or make an ice rink that works. and they keep talking about redeveloping Main St. Have fun people…

  2. Trouble February 18, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Promises to nowhere!

  3. enoughalready February 18, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    Alright!….hold on..let me get some popcorn, this is going to be good. Dim the lights. Okay…go!

  4. chris February 18, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Forget the parks – the Town sits in the middle of one – and focus on safe intersections and pedestrian/vehicle traffic flow (if any), parking (so shoppers/diners can get to the retail businesses), signage, snow storage options elsewhere, and see how that goes before investing more. One small baby step at a time.

  5. upthecreek February 18, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    Two words.

    “Bullet Train”….

    • Ken Warner February 19, 2014 at 11:05 am #

      You’re real close. A train from Ridgecrest to Reno servicing all the towns and communities in between would be really useful and a tourist attraction.

      • Trouble February 19, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

        From what I understand we almost had a train stopping at each location back in the laws railroad days . Until the dude in charge of all the money in Bishop took off with all the money. Sort of like Mammoth airport.

    • Wayne Deja February 19, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

      If there ever is a “bullet train” between Ridgecrest,in and through Lone Pine, Independence,Big Pine,Bishop,Lee Vining ,Bridgeport,and the other quiet little towns leading up to Reno,my only hope is I will be dead and buried so I wouldn’t have to see or deal with it….couple that,along with that proposed “ATV trail system” through the Owens Valley and some residents would be fleeing away on the weekends to seek some peace and quiet somewhere else..

      • Benett Kessler February 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

        But those in business and looking for jobs would so appreciate a rail line from there to here. And, if you like trains, what a fun ride!

        • Mongo The Idiot' February 21, 2014 at 10:35 am #

          Bring Back Slim Princess!

          Snail Train to Nowhere!

          This place would become a freakin’ Disneyland.

          Tourism Galore.

      • Ken Warner February 19, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

        It wouldn’t be a “Bullet Train” That wouldn’t be practical for the stop and go of a commuter train. And the terrain isn’t conducive. A commuter train would make less noise than the average two trailer truck..

        • Desert Tortoise February 19, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

          You would need a diesel locomotive to power the train (no one is going to pay to electrify such a long route), and the climb north out of Bishop is a lot more than any diesel loco can handle. The line would have to follow the old route of the Carson and Colorado Railroad up US 6 to US 95 and north, staying at lower altitudes but missing places like Mammoth Lakes, June Lake and Lee Vining.

          • Ken Warner February 19, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

            Not much point in quitting before you start.

            It’s 2013. We went to the Moon in the 1960’s We have nuclear submarines that can circumnavigate the Earth underwater. But we can’t drive a train from Bishop to Mammoth Lakes?

            The hard part would be getting the right of way. Machines can be built.

          • Desert Tortoise February 20, 2014 at 11:24 am #

            Ken, there are practical limits to the steepness of the grade a train with steel wheels against steel rails can operate on without wheel spin. It does not matter how much horsepower is available, some of the big freight diesels are sporting over 6200 horses, if you cannot get that power to the rail. Modern computer operated anti-spin systems used on traction motors cannot completely overcome insufficient traction for the grade.

          • Ken Warner February 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

            I didn’t say go straight up any grade. That’s what switch backs are for. Railroads have been crossing mountains for a hundred and fifty years (approx)

            I’m not a railroad engineer. Somebody is…

          • erik simpson February 21, 2014 at 8:56 am #

            Wouldn’t everybody like to see a railroad grade going up through the Tablelands? This is one of the worst ideas I’ve seen put forward for this area in a long time. Not to mention the essential impossibility to get right of way, It’s impractical, super expensive and guaranteed to offend the maximum number of people.

  6. MJA February 19, 2014 at 7:14 am #

    I met a couple of visitors this last weekend in Mammoth, one told me how it was her first time to Mammoth and how much she loved our little town and another who said the greatest asset in Mammoth is the free transit. I don’t think we need find money to beautify the beautiful; Way to go Mammoth! =

    • Ken Warner February 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

      But free transit isn’t really free. The town and probably other agencies pay for it. And that’s money out of somebodies pocket.

      • Desert Tortoise February 20, 2014 at 8:11 am #

        The bulk of the money used by a small transit agency will come from the state in the form of what is known as “TDA Article 4” finding, where TDA stands for Transit Development Act. There is a formula based on population and some other factors used to determine how much TDA money a community is granted each year. The priority for the money is public transit, usually busses. If a community is able to meet all of their transit needs and still has money left over, that money becomes what is known as “TDA Article 8” funding that may be spent to repair or build roads and bike paths or meet ADA compliance requirements.

        Especially for rural transit operations, fares will seldome be more than a very small amount of the money available to fund the operation. The majority will be TDA Article 4 funding. Before you get your panties in a bunch over this, consider that all transportation in the US is publicly subsidized, from roads (fuel taxes and sales taxes on fuels only pay about 50% of the total cost to build and maintain roads, the rest comes from general reveunes or bond sales) to airports to highways and railways (the US Govt gave the railroads 20 square miles of free land for every mile of rail they laid). Paying for transportation is a legitmate and necessary use of public funds.

  7. nancy backerman February 19, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    I agree with both Chris and MJA. Let’s focus on realistic solutions based on safety, function and cost effectiveness. Cosmetic fixes such as landscaped medians don’t make any sense and would not be an efficient, practical use of funds regardless of where the money comes from – you won’t even see the medians for half the year in a big winter, not to mention how beat up they would get and then there would be additional expense trying to repair them each spring.

    • MeadowGal February 19, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

      Honestly, with the drought we are in right now, NO ONE should be talking about landscaping anything!

  8. MJA February 20, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    I met another gal on a bus yesterday who told what she loved most about Mammoth is just how beautiful it is. I agree, =


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