[Vision2020] Letter: Threatening the ridge

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Fri Sep 11 00:38:13 PDT 2015

Courtesy of the Opinion section of today's (September 11, 2015) Moscow-Pullman Daily News with special thanks to Joann Muneta.


Threatening the ridge
I attended numerous public meetings about plans for improving U.S. Highway 95 from Thorncreek to Moscow. At one of these meetings a representative of the Idaho Transportation Department said to me a bit sarcastically, "You act as though Paradise Ridge is a national park." Of course I know it isn't a national park, but it is one of only two areas of relatively unspoiled land that our community enjoys.
We don't have the beautiful rivers that Lewiston can boast, or the magnificent lakes adjacent to Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint, but we do have Moscow Mountain and Paradise Ridge to look to for natural beauty and a sense of place. That is why over 800 people signed petitions objecting to ITD's choice of the E-2 eastern route for Highway 95 over the western flank of Paradise Ridge: a choice that will forever mar the ridge and threaten the Palouse Prairie and area wildlife.
Safety is the main goal, but given that the E-2 route will be at a higher elevation and thus more likely to be icy and foggy and that this choice will leave the current two lane stretch of Highway 95 unimproved and less than safe for local users and will increase the likelihood of accidents from collisions with the large animals who are prevalent in the selected region, it is hard to believe that the estimated safety differences between E-2 and C-3 are within the margin of error that would justify the route chosen.
Citizens have asked the ITD to maximize safety while minimizing environmental impact. They instead stuck with the Paradise Ridge route E-2 that does neither. I hope it is not too late to make a better choice.
Joann Muneta,  Moscow

Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares"
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho
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