The California Department of Transportation’s current and planned project to widen and significantly modify Niles Canyon Highway between Fremont/Niles and Sunol is viewed by the Save Niles Canyon Group as follows:
The project is not needed and represents a waste of taxpayer money.
- The project is a tremendous waste of money! There are many other roads in the state that have significantly higher accident rates and could genuinely use the funding.
- The project is based on outdated data and misleading presumptions: Caltrans uses outdated accident incident data in their reports as its rationale for the project – safety- is questionable since the data is outdated. The project appears to be looking for a reason. If the state wishes to create a safer highway in Niles Canyon it ought to prohibit large trucks from using it (trucks — many of which are using the canyon to avoid the truck scales on 680 — represent 2.5% of the traffic; but are involved in 38% of the accidents).
- The project is billed as work to create a safer road but will likely result in higher driver speeds.
- This $80 million could be better spent elsewhere.
- Responsible efforts to convince Caltrans to abandon the project have been made by the City of Fremont and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board but the petitions have apparently not been heard.
The project has significant environmental impacts which have not been fully addressed
- This stretch is designated a Scenic Highway! They want to widen the road, erect large retaining walls, remove 400+ trees, etc., etc. There are a number of issues that make these plans unacceptable
- The potential impact on the efforts to rejuvenate the spawning of steelhead trout up Alameda creek seems to have been ignored.