Unfortunately, my campaign has meant I’ve had to spend less time working on issues for the Sierra Club. One such environmental issue is the attempt to ‘improve’ the Niles Canyon Roadway (Route 84). A number of people have asked me for my position on this so here it is. In short, I’m against this. It’s an irresponsible use of taxpayer money.
Niles Canyon is a beautiful, scenic roadway connecting the Niles area of Fremont with the small town of Sunol. The road was the historic way into Fremont prior to Interstate 680 being built over the Sunol Grade.
The proposed “Niles Canyon Safety Improvement Project” would construct a median barrier, increase curve radii, create new roadway shoulders, install guard rails, and place retaining walls along more than four miles of the roadway. The purpose of the project is supposedly for highway and bicycle safety. In short, the project will take a scenic highway and attempt to make into a modern roadway.
There are numerous concerns that have been raised by environmentalists and local residents. First, the amount of construction required would clearly have adverse affects on the natural environment including Alameda creek which parallels the roadway. The scenic nature of the roadway could be lost forever due to the large retaining walls.
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