Letters to the Editor

Viewpoint: Tied up in Tank Farm traffic

My business is located at 625 Tank Farm Road, just east of the Santa Fe Road corner and behind United Rentals. I invite anyone to come visit my operation most any weekday between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m., during the lunch period from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or during the evening commute between 4:45 and 5:30 p.m.

Just try to turn left into my driveway or onto Santa Fe Road! Then try to leave by turning left onto Tank Farm Road.

Tank Farm Road has become increasingly congested, and traffic appears to be exceeding the road’s design capacity. While the speed limit on Tank Farm Road from Santa Fe Road to Broad Street is clearly posted as 35 mph, both east- and westbound traffic on Tank Farm Road moves much closer to 50 mph unless it is gridlocked from the Broad Street signal.

Widening Tank Farm Road is not the solution for several reasons:

1. At its present location, the Santa Fe Road corner cannot be signalized, according to the city.

2. Widening Tank Farm Road across the Unocal property is almost impossible for environmental reasons and because of Unocal’s plans for its property.

3. Widening Tank Farm Road will do nothing to alleviate the growing gridlock at the signal at Broad and South Higuera streets.

San Luis Obispo can only grow to the southwest toward the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. Truck drivers say that bringing heavy trucks up through Pismo Beach onto Price Canyon Road and Highway 227/Broad Street is very difficult driving and very dangerous. To reach Highway 101, they head onto Tank Farm Road.

Dogleg Prado Road into Tank Farm Road, and the situation from Santa Fe Road to Broad Street gets even worse. By not providing another east/west connection across the south end of town, the situation on Tank Farm Road will rapidly get worse.

Try to encourage businesses to locate in the commercially zoned airport annexation area, and the critically stressed access issue will send them looking elsewhere.

Remember that while soccer fields and scenic areas are nice to live near, the city’s economy rests on its small and mid-sized businesses. Access is critical for commercially zoned areas to appeal to businesses locating here, successfully operating here and supporting the city of San Luis Obispo.

Please come visit my driveway, if you are brave enough. Douglas C. Hoffman is the president and owner of the San Luis Paper Co., Inc.