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Highway-11 Proposed expansion project

Author Topic: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project  (Read 11554 times)

Administrator

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Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« on: April 09, 2010, 11:42:26 AM »

The project planners have announced there will be another public meeting on the Hwy.11 expansion project on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at the Salem High School Cafeteria from 6 to 8 p.m.  

TO  P-R-I-N-T  the project proposal, meeting announcement or comment forms, JUST CLICK on one of the 3 FILES IMMEDIATELY BELOW so you can open it for printing.  
     (These are the files in light blue with the green paper clip icons in front of them. )
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 10:29:09 AM by Administrator »

Right Angle

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2010, 01:30:13 PM »
I attended the Regional Planning Commission’s (RCP) Highway 11 widening meeting on October 29, 2009.  I thought the presentation was good, but the method of obtaining the public’s opinions was flawed.

The audience was dominated by alcohol outlets and their customers concerned with loosing their illegal highway right-of-way parking privileges.  These individuals have assumed a position of “entitlement” to this public land and were very vocal and rudely shouted down those in favor of the widening project.  This mob effect was very intimidating and discouraged me and others from publicly expressing our support of the four lane proposals.

If I had felt comfortable expressing my opinion at the meeting I would have stated that traffic flow studies, economic development studies, quality of life studies, safety studies and environmental studies have been conducted and all the above studies have determined that Highway 11 is a vital hurricane evacuation and overflow route when I-10 traffic is interrupted and “NEEDS” four lanes to improve safety and traffic flow demands.  In addition, Highway 11 is the gateway to south Slidell and its widening and beatification will enhance the economic development of Slidell.

I think any of the four lane alternatives are acceptable, but to do nothing or to reduce the scope to two lanes with a center suicide turning lane is not acceptable based on the following:

1.   What we are talking about is the proper use of existing public property.  We are not talking about expropriating private property for public use.  This property belongs to all Louisiana citizens and should be utilized in a manner that will enhance the safety and quality of life for all the residents of Louisiana.  To deny tens of thousands of citizens this vital safety and traffic improvement simply to appease a few businesses that want to maintain their squatter’s privileges is not acceptable justification to limit the project’s scope.

2.   North bound traffic backs up from the Eden Isles traffic light to the lake every work day afternoon.  When there is a north bound accident on the twin spans, traffic backs up for miles on the highway 11 bridge.  If north bound bridge traffic could flow into a two lane roadway the bridge backup would be immediately absorbed by the two lane roadway and greatly enhancing traffic flow and safety.  When there is a south bound accident on the twin spans, traffic backs up on highway 11 past Spartan Dr. and for the entire length of Eden Isles Dr. trapping people in the subdivision and restricting emergency vehicle access.  A four lane roadway would move this traffic further south reducing the number of people trapped and greatly improved safety and traffic flow.  I’m sure independent traffic studies conducted by “Subject Matter Experts” showed the need a four lane roadway or it would not have been proposed in the first place.  

3.   Four traffic lanes divided by a median with periodic openings for crossover access would not only enhance traffic flow and safety, but also improve the area’s image, business opportunities, property values and the quality of life for everyone that uses or lives around the highway.  The four lane design may also encourage people to invest in improving the appearance of their business and attract more family friendly business.

4.   The addition of a bike lane and pedestrian walking path along with landscaping can only enhance safety, property values and quality of life.  

I understand collecting project comments and having informational meetings are part of the project evaluation process, but the decision to widen highway 11 from two lanes to four lanes should not be influenced by shouting contest at public meetings or a write-in popularity contest.  If the comments raise legitimate environmental or safety issues, supported by independent studies, then that data needs to be considered, but unsubstantiated opinions for or against the project should not out weigh independent studies conducted by subject mater experts.  

This decision impacts the safety and traffic flow of 18,805 vehicles each day and must not be influenced by a vocal minority of alcohol outlets and their customers concerned with losing there illegal highway right-of-way parking privileges.

However, if the RCP feels a vote count is more important than all the independent economic development, safety and traffic flow studies then the vote should be an official count of registered voters on an official ballot where the results can be certified and let all south east St. Tammany voters voice their position at the next election.

I also hope that there will be a Sheriff’s deputy at the next meeting to provide protection for those in favor of the four lane options.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2010, 03:31:15 PM by Right Angle »

Lee Longstreet

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2010, 09:03:03 PM »
November 2, 2009

Carmelo Gutierrez, P.E., PTOE
Krebs, Lasalle, Lemieux Consultants, Inc.
P.O. Box 19688
New Orleans, LA  70179

SUBJECT:  Proposed US Highway 11 improvement project

Dear Mr. Gutierrez:

Thank you for your public presentation held on October 29, 2009 regarding planned improvements on Hwy. 11 in Slidell, LA.

The 2 lane section between the Slidell city limits and the Hwy. 11 span over Lake Pontchartrain is a dangerous one in that the rural bridge span over the lake is typically traveled at 55mph and once reaching the north shore flows into more of a neighborhood environment.   Not only does Hwy. 11 serve the heart of Slidell but also the highly populated neighborhoods of Eden Isles and Oak Harbor.  

Many accidents could be avoided by the widening of Hwy. 11 so that unexpected slow traffic entering or exiting the roadway could be avoided.   I particularly like “option 4” which includes “shoulders” that offer refuge for panic avoidance of obstructions and a place to move disabled vehicles.  Also contributing to the safety issue is that there are several bars and restaurants located on this stretch of highway.   The simple fact is that bars & restaurants serve alcohol and those patrons leave by way of Hwy. 11.  An improved highway would improve that situation as well.

Severe overcrowding of Hwy. 11 occurs whenever there is a problem on the I-10 twin spans as Hwy. 11 is the nearest alternative for passage to the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain.   Widening of the roadway would help move more cars to the higher speed bridge span.

If this project goes forward, and I sincerely hope it does, I would think a lowering of the 45mph speed limit to 40mph would also help with safety without reducing traffic capacity because of the additional lane.  This would make Hwy. 11 more in line with what you see on Veterans & Williams Blvd. in Metairie & Kenner which were also developed as state highways.

Regardless of what you heard at the first meeting on October 29, 2009; I think most will be in favor of the improvements as presented both from a safety standpoint and as an improvement to property values in the area.   The improvements would also stimulate development in the area and result in more tax revenue.

I thank everyone involved for their service to the community in the pursuit of this project.

Sincerely,



Lee Longstreet
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 02:47:01 PM by Lee Longstreet »

end user

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2010, 02:18:04 PM »
April, 2010

Highway-11 Improvement Project

Dear Neighbors,

We hope you support the proposed project of widening and improving Highway 11 from the Slidell city limits to the lake.   Occasional closures of I-10 for construction or major accidents are reminders of the importance of keeping the best possible alternatives available to access our neighborhoods.

Our legislators and state government have worked along with the Regional Planning Commission and the Department of Transportation in this endeavor.   If the highway is widened to 4 lanes, the upgraded roadway will decrease congestion during commute time because twice the number of lanes moves twice the traffic through intersections.  The proposal offers improved alternate access to our neighborhood from the south shore, upgraded right of way utilities, improved safety and better side street access.   With its proposed landscaped median it will bring the beauty of Oak Harbor Blvd. to Hwy.11.   The upgrade would increase property values and give an incentive for owners to restore their Katrina damaged properties.  

As part of any such project of this magnitude public input is required before it can proceed.  Now we need to show our support of that effort.  We will be given the opportunity of voicing our opinions at an upcoming public meeting.  The meeting particulars along with the original proposal and project comment forms can be found on the new Greater Eden Isles / Oak Harbor Area Public Forum at www.eiohForum.com .
 
Not everyone supports upgrading Hwy.11 to current construction standards.  Some businesses are currently using the Hwy.11 right of way for over-flow parking.  If you support the upgrading of our neighborhood it is important you show that support, otherwise special interests could kill or greatly reduce the scope of the project.  

Federal funds have been secured for upgrading Louisiana highways and it is our opportunity to have it spent right here in our neighborhood.  

Currently, this project is not something you will be going to the voting booth to decide.  The public comment forms are what will determine the viability of the project.  Your thoughts will not count unless you give your name, address and sign one of the public comment forms.   You need to promptly mail in your project comment form directly to the project planners at the address given on the form.  

Thank you,

Concerned residents of the Eden Isles / Oak Harbor area.

« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 10:38:37 AM by end user »

John Doe

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2010, 02:40:05 PM »
I would think a 4 lane versus 2 lane upgrade would reduce the amount of traffic jams and impact to local businesses that come with construction.  

The existing 2 lanes of Hwy.11 could remain intact while the additional lanes are being constructed.   Traffic could then be routed onto the new lanes while the old lanes are being reconstructed.

A two lane reconstructive effort could be a real mess.  

For the benefit of everyone I think a 4 lane upgrade is the best possible project we could hope for.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 11:57:25 AM by John Doe »

retired63

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2010, 04:51:16 PM »
This is my first visit to this site and I think is is a great idea. I commend whomever thought of doing this.
I have read the few postings regarding the Highway 11 proposed expansion project. I whole heartedly support this project. For me the main issue is safety. I have seen a number of accidents on this highway and they are a result of the high traffic volume combined with a sub standard road. Engineers have studied this problem and come up with the required needs according to current highway and road standards. Add to this that the beautification of this area is long over due. Several communities have grown up around this highway which have improved not only the local area but Slidell and Saint Tammany Parish as well. Further it appears that infrastructuer, such as drainage improvments, will also be a part of this project. I am disapointed to read tha some businesses are opposed. I am further disapointed that the public meeting held on this project was intimidateing due to some business owners who are opposed. I frequent a number of these businesses and would not think that they would fail to be polite enough to let everyone have their say. While we may have differences I would hope we all respect each other as neighbors. I think that with the studies made by the State of Louisiana, their proposal should be followed and all should support this 4 lane highway with median and paved shoulders.

regaljazz

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2010, 02:18:24 PM »
Where is the project comment form mentioned in the letter which we all got?  I thought it was supposed to be contained at this site.

riegler

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2010, 02:34:14 PM »

We are for the expansion project and hope it passes.  We would like to know where to get the form mentioned in the letter dated April 2010. 

kenner 180

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2010, 07:42:53 PM »
I agree than an upgraded four lane highway from the hwy 11 bridge to spartan drive is long overdue. The proposed upgrade is only opposed by a small number of business outlets who are using state property for their personal use.  except for the people who live on the canal side and keep their property in good shape, the canal side is used for dumping trash and construction waste.  This upgrade to highway 11 will improve traffic flow and safety.  It is essential for the thousands of people who live, work and conduct business in this area.  I urge everyone to attent the upcoming public meeting and support this needed improvement to highway 11.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2010, 07:46:12 PM by kenner 180 »

regaljazz

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2010, 08:02:55 AM »
I'm still having trouble finding the comment form.  Could someone give me SPECIFIC instructions?  Thanks.  There are a lot of people who don't have computers and some who know less than I do about their use.  I will be willing to distribute some comment forms to folks in the community, but can't find the form.

Thanks for your help.

bsa1944

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2010, 10:00:56 AM »
As resident's of Eden Isles, we support the proposal to widen Highway 11.  Widening the highway will contribute to public safety and is a step in the right direction toward better utilizing this stretch of road which, I feel, has great economic potential and is currently very poorly utilized. Following through with this project will be an improvement to our neighborhoods and will also give a boost to our property values.


Boater

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2010, 10:39:29 AM »
I'm still having trouble finding the comment form.  Could someone give me SPECIFIC instructions?  Thanks.  There are a lot of people who don't have computers and some who know less than I do about their use.  I will be willing to distribute some comment forms to folks in the community, but can't find the form.

Thanks for your help.

Look at the first posting on the Hwy.11 topic where the text is in red.  Immediately below the red text are 3 files you can simply click on.   These files have little paper clip icons in front of them.   Just click on the 3rd file labeled "hwy11_comment form".
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 10:42:00 AM by Boater »

mbs

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2010, 12:11:22 PM »
Thanks for the forum and great info. I  have printed, commented, and mailed the project comment form to Mr. Gutierrez.  I appreciate the effort of our community(Eden Isles) and support this project wholeheartedly.

kkgabriel

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2010, 10:45:09 AM »
Thanks for making this information readily accessible and for spreading the word about this important development plan.  This expansion is long overdue and should be completed for congestion and most importantly, safety concerns.  Our area will only be improved by these measures.

regaljazz

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2010, 09:01:36 AM »
Boater:  Thanks for the SPECIFIC instructions.  I got them printed.

Fishermann

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2010, 09:40:08 AM »
Read the story reported by The Times Picayune on nola.com

http://www.nola.com/northshore/index.ssf/2009/10/post_3.html

egret100

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2010, 11:01:53 AM »
I have printed teh Comment Form and mailed to Carmelo G.  Lets keep this thing going!!!!!

egret100

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2010, 11:13:54 AM »
I have printed teh Comment Form and mailed to Carmelo G.  Lets keep this thing going!!!!!

PS:  I am in favor of 4 lanes. 

kenner 180

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2010, 01:25:10 PM »
I HOPE EVERONE WILL MAKE AN EFFORT TO ATTEND THE MEETING ON 5/20.  STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE PROJECT IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT A FEW INDIVIDUALS FORM KILLING THE PROJECT BECAUSE THEY WANT TO USE STATE PROPERTY FOR THEIR PERSONAL USE

kathy maguire

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2010, 12:43:55 PM »
My husband and I are all for the proposed Hwy. 11 project and will try to attend the meeting 5-20-10. I would like to know how print a copy of t public comment forms.

john giroir

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2010, 02:37:57 PM »
I am in favor of widening Hwy 11, because it will reduce traffic jams and will greatly improve the appearence of the Slidell Eden Isle Area.

John Giroir

riggings

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2010, 02:11:43 PM »
I am highly in favor of the 4 lane improvement of highway 11.  It will be a much needed face lift to the Slidell area.  Not to mention the obvious safety concerns. Highway 11 is a main road through Slidell and it looks more like a back alley.  To upgrade this road would definitely provide safer roads for all, but it would also attract more businesses besides a few liquor stores.  The more business that can be attracted to Slidell the more revenues for the city and parish.  As well as providing needed jobs in the area.  It is a good first step towards making Slidell the premier city of St Tammany Parish.

end user

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2010, 05:40:03 PM »
(A note received from John Faust on 5-19-2010)

I plan to attend the (hwy.11) meeting on Thursday.

I would like to propose to use the median as a flood control device. If we were to connect this median to one created along Lakeview drive it would be the first leg in protecting us from storm surge.

A small lock system would have to be built at the breakwater to Eden Isles and a raised portion to the Torres levee system.

Although this protection will not include all of Slidell, it would protect us (Eden Isles) from the surge effects caused by the Schneider canal project.

This would be a win- win for the Parish gov. The parish is putting themselves in a situation were our community residents and businesses owners will have no choice but to oppose the current flood protection project.

Much of the cost will be handled through the Highway project funds. It would also reduce much of the controversy caused by the Corps projects. To this date the Corps has not addressed all the questions I posed to them in regards to new and old flood projects to our west. I would hope we would have some of the Parish elected officials at the meeting.

John Faust

dbeaux

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2010, 02:16:06 PM »
This is crazy.   If a turning lane is being labled as unsafe, then a median should be put all the way up Pontchartrain Dr., where there is already a turning lane.  Obviously most people in favor of this HWY 11, 4 lane project,  do not live on HWY 11.   Unless there is a opening for turning into our driveways,at every driveway, this will cause more of a traffic jam. Unless there is an opening right at my driveway I will have  to drive to an opening between medians and make a U turn  to get back to my driveway. Not to mention that at places, like Cracker Barrel gas station, where more than one car may be turning, this will not solve any safety issues.  Cars may have the back end sticking out beyond the median and will surely get hit.  Many accidents can be prevented if there were a turning lane instead,   because less cars will be rear ended. Also, not to mention how close to the highway this will place the gas pumps at Cracker Barrel. As far as beautification goes, a median will attract more litter, and who is going to foot the bill for maintaining the median? Maybe the Eden Isles homeowners association??????? I doubt it.  My taxes will have to pay for it.The homeowners association should focas there efforts to get some of the blighted homes, on Eden Isles Blvd., cleaned up.  Hwy 11 has been here long before Eden Isles and Oak Harbor.  If you are not happy with Hwy 11 use the interstate.  And for the record.   Hwy 11 is NOT listed as an Hurricane evacuation route.  So get your noses out of the air and look at your own mess before you comment  on everyone elses.    I live on HWY 11.  I know the safety issues and a median is not going to solve them.  The turning lane is the solution. 

Boater

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2010, 10:03:27 PM »
Just some info.  Happen to find a nice article on the history of the Hwy-11 bridge.

http://www.slidellsentry.com/articles/2008/02/18/news/news02.txt

RatsNestResident

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2010, 02:41:13 PM »
I agree with dbeaux's observation that 4 lanes with a median would be expensive to maintain and result in different traffic issues. Imagine all the displaced patrons trying to park in the median and stumbling across two lanes to get to and from their favorite establishment. A bike path seems silly since there is nothing out there to ride to, Rats Nest is dangerous for a bike so no one is riding from there to town. I would agree with a simple sidewalk so people wouldn’t have to walk on the shoulder or ride their bike on the side of the road. The bridge is a choke point since it is only 2 lanes. More lanes leading to the bridge is just more area for parking. When HWY 10 is closed it takes a long time for all the backed up traffic to clear because all that traffic still has to get across the two lane bridge; only now it will take twice as long because you have twice as many cars parked and waiting. Three lanes with a turn lane in the middle works well and is low maintenance. More than once I have turned out of Eden Isles and felt guilty for making all the traffic stop and wait for my one car. I really think he light at Eden Isles could be timed or triggered better to favor rush hour HWY 11 traffic.  We should be embarrassed to support a plan for the Federal Government to waste $21 Million of our children’s tax dollars on a fancy road to nowhere not to mention the continued burden on our local tax base with added maintenance.

bellaherna

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2010, 09:34:17 PM »
My husband and I are ABSOLUTELY in favor of the Hwy 11 IMPROVEMENT Project!!  I am sorry but Slidell needs to get out of the trash run down look.  Anything to make our City look nicer will be an improvement.  I am tired of all of the nice things going to Mandeville and Covington and all the same ole same ole coming/staying in Slidell.
Thank you

Lee Longstreet

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Re: Highway-11 Proposed expansion project
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2010, 09:45:35 PM »
Eden Isles Homeowners Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 2746  Slidell, LA  70459
SPECIAL PROJECTS COMMITTEE (eihoa-spc)

August 17, 2010

Carmelo Gutierrez, P.E., PTOE
Krebs, LaSalle, LeMieux Consultants, Inc.
P.O. Box 19688
New Orleans, LA  70179

SUBJECT:  Conclusion - Proposed Hwy. 11 improvement project

Dear Mr. Gutierrez:

As a result of the May 20, 2010 public meeting led by Kevin Davis and subsequent follow up with the project’s engineering firm of Krebs, LaSalle, LeMieux Consultants, Inc., the project planning has reached the point were we should be happy with the outcome.   

The requirement of building to current construction practices will require a median which will increase safety, provide landscaping and street lighting.  Turning lanes are designed so that turning vehicles will be contained within the median so as not to stop traffic while drivers wait to complete their turn.   Paved shoulders are also part of the project in order to enhance safety by providing an area for emergency access, disabled vehicles and a wider area for completing “u-turns”. 
 
During “drive time” and whenever I-10 is blocked Eden Isles is impacted with traffic.  Because of this many Eden Isles residents wanted an all 4-lane project.  Yet we know that at some point Hwy.11 must taper down to 2 lanes prior to reaching Lake Pontchartrain.   The debate was where that reduction was to occur.  The plan shown at the May 20, 2010 public meeting was not acceptable as the transition was located between Oak Harbor Blvd. and Eden Isles Dr. leaving no improvement where traffic was worst. 

On behalf of the “eihoa-spc”, I followed up with the project’s engineering firm to seek a solution.  As traffic is the result of bottlenecks caused by traffic signals it was requested that the 4 lane portion extend at least far enough past Eden Isles Dr. (towards the lake) to hold a full traffic light cycle worth of cars.  This duplicates what was drawn in the plan for the intersection at Oak Harbor except with the additional turning lanes as we now have.   The plan was modified per our request and a new one printed by the project’s engineering firm as Alt. #9 dated 5-26-10.  A full scale drawing was given to the “eihoa-spc” for review.  The new plan was on display at the neighborhood “driveway social” on June 6, 2010 and subsequently presented to the EIHOA general meeting on June 8, 2010 without objection. 
 
I think the public input process has worked and that the resulting Hwy.11 plan will achieve the objectives of improving safety, throughput and beautification while minimizing the impact to most of the Hwy.11 property owners. 
 
Sincerely,


Lee Longstreet,
Chairman – Special Projects Committee
Eden Isles Homeowners Association, Inc.