Thank you to the North Coast Journal for your article ("Big Changes Considered for 101 Through Eureka," Feb. 28) about the traffic woes and accompanying death toll on 101 through Eureka.
As bad as the current picture you paint may be, it pales in comparison to how much worse it will be if and when 101 is widened through Richardson Grove and the giant STAA trucks (currently banned from passing through that thin Redwood Curtain) begin to populate our roads.
Contrary to what CalTrans and its boosters on our Humboldt County Board of Supervisors want you to believe, our roads will be more dangerous and lives will be severely impacted. The fact is one out every 10 highway deaths nationally involve large trucks. The annual death toll is now up to 5,000 fatalities, a 20 percent increase since 2009 (saferoads.org). Of course, we've yet to see a corresponding increase to the rest of the country precisely because the road through Richardson Grove prevents these behemoths from traveling up 101.
Also, once the road is widened, that's it — it will remain that way for the rest of our lives. There are no take backs.
If you look, you'll notice that most of the tractor trailers that you see on our roads now do not have sleeper cabins and the trailers they pull are of a modest size. Once the STAA truck are allowed, we'll be side-by-side with these land-locked leviathans and their giant loads, and we'll all be less safe for it.
Why not work to keep some things the way the are? Oppose the Richardson Grove widening project and tell your county supervisor to oppose it, as well.
Richard Salzman, Arcata