Residents of a Veradale neighborhood are divided about what to do with a traffic barrier currently blocking access to Cataldo Road from Mission Avenue.
Many who live on Cataldo and Ravalli Drive want the concrete barrier to stay, saying it prevents people from using their residential streets as a high-speed shortcut between Sullivan and Broadway.
“It’s deplorable the way people speed up and down that street,” Warren Coutts, who lives on Ravalli Drive, told county commissioners this week. “Let’s leave it blocked. Let’s save lives.”
The commissioners held a hearing Tuesday on the future of the barrier.
Mark Eschliman, who lives on Ravalli, said he fears for the safety of his three young children if the barrier is removed.
“Now, my kids can ride on the street,” Eschliman said.
But some of the residents who live on other nearby cross streets told commissioners that the speeders have migrated onto their streets since the barrier was erected three years ago.
The county put the blockade up as a temporary measure in 1992 after neighbors complained about speeders tearing up and down Cataldo and Ravalli.
Some commuters hoping to avoid congestion on Sullivan used the two streets as a way to get to Broadway.
“All the traffic in and out of there has to go by our house now,” said Bob Thomas, who lives on St. Charles Drive. “You’ve just moved the danger down a street.”
They said they want the blockade removed. That way the speeders will be spread around a more evenly, they said.
Karl Bold, assistant chief of the Valley Fire District, said the district supports removing the barrier because it makes it more difficult for fire trucks to get to the homes on Cataldo and Ravalli.
Commissioners postponed making a decision on the barrier until Dec. 12 after Steve Hasson asked for some time to think about it.
The blockade will stay in place until then.
Commissioner George Marlton summed up the commissioners’ quandary pretty well.
“This is one of them where you’re wrong no matter which way you go,” he said.