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Dry Creek/West Placer Community Plan Update Moves Forward

August 15, 2011

The Placer County Board of Supervisors adopted two resolutions which approve a final environmental impact report and an update for the Dry Creek/West Placer Community Plan Transportation and Circulation Element. The Supervisors took the actions at their regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 9.

The Plan area is located in western Placer County, encompassing about 9,200 acres. Its boundaries are Baseline Road on the north, the Placer/Sutter County line to the west, the Placer/Sacramento County line to the south, and the City of Roseville to the east.

Since the adoption of the 1990 Dry Creek Community Plan, the region has experienced substantial growth and will continue to see growth both inside and outside the unincorporated County boundaries. The previous Transportation and Circulation Element called for the closure of PFE Road at Cook-Riolo Road when the average daily traffic volume exceeds 5,000 vehicles per day. That threshold had been reached.

However, the Department of Public Works (DPW), the West Placer Municipal Advisory Council (MAC), and residents of the Dry Creek Community Plan area concluded that closing PFE Road would not be in the best interest of the community and overall roadway network.

Public Works engaged the community to address current traffic issues, to plan the roadway network, establish appropriate level of service standards for the next 20-plus years, and update the Transportation and Circulation Element. With the adoption of the roadway network and associated level of service standards, the Community Plan update allows the County to identify which roadway segments and intersections will need widening or improvement and provides the basis for an update to the region’s Capital Improvement Program. It also helps the development community understand the future needs for the transportation system.

As part of the update, two key traffic issues were identified: the traffic diverter at the Baseline Road/Cook Riolo Road/Woodcreek Oaks Boulevard intersection, and the possibility of widening Walerga Road to six lanes.

The traffic analysis showed that the diverter can be removed, but traffic calming measures should be installed on Cook Riolo and PFE Roads to prevent them from becoming commute routes.

Walerga Road is currently a two and four lane facility. Concerns were raised from the Doyle Ranch and Morgan Creek developments about the widening, which will not be needed until substantially in the future. After a series of meetings and discussions with the residents, DPW agreed to add language to the Transportation and Circulation Element stating that a project level environmental review will be required when any widening the project is considered in the future, in addition to a public hearing.

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