To the Editor: Proposes alternate solution for 395

I’ve read with interest the letters about U.S. 395 as I have been a very frequent traveler on that road for the last 15 years and agree that we take our lives in our hands when we drive it. I also agree with other writers that passing lanes and better lines of sight would be much-needed improvements as soon as possible. Unfortunately, those improvements will very likely take years to complete even if committed to today.

There is, however, one improvement that could be accomplished within a few days of deciding to do it, and that is the elimination of the split speed limit. In almost all Western states, trucks and trailer towing vehicles of all sizes are now allowed to travel at the same speed because the statistics have clearly established that having all traffic traveling at the same speed is safer than split speed limits. This is a change that the local transportation authorities could effect immediately, and this single change would very significantly reduce the amount of passing attempted, safe or unsafe, because there just wouldn’t be as many vehicles going much more slowly than the would-be passer wants to go.

Now the million-dollar question — how do we get the mysterious “them” to make this exception to California’s traffic regulations? The answer is very simple, it’s “relationships.” The founders of our country in their private correspondence talked about how this experiment they were launching of a government called a republic, could be maintained over the long haul. Many of them agreed that it could only be sustained through carefully maintained relationships and communication between the governed and the governors.

With their wisdom in mind, I urge anyone who has an interest in helping to make this idea I’ve proposed happen should look in their contact list and reach out to anyone they know who might know someone who is a decisionmaker at the county and state departments of transportation. We know that everyone knows someone we don’t know, and without a doubt someone in this valley knows someone who sits next to, plays golf with, goes to church with the person who could make this happen for us. While it is also useful to call or write elected government officials of any stripe and capacity that you think might help move this along, you know in your own life that a personal request from a personal friend will often exert far more influence on you than any other force.

So get out that Rolodex, pull out that old box of business cards and start making calls, I have it on good authority that the county supervisors of both counties will give a huge reward to all citizens who help pull this off, or maybe we’ll all just have a much safer road to drive on (in case I just made up that huge reward bit).

Julius Botelho

Story First Published: 2018-04-20