(El Centro, CA) Lindsay Dale of Imperial County Farm Bureau spoke to the board of supervisors during open comments about a traffic barrier that was build on Austin Road and Brewer that blocks left hand turns for southbound traffic and impedes tractor and farm implement movement.
Dale said that the other barrier constructed by county planning on Dogwood and McCabe could no longer be remedied, that these obstructions on county roads Â made shuffling farm implements from field movement impossible. She felt that there was still a possibility to fix the Austin- Brewer median.
Dale said the situation is now more hazardous as tractor drivers are forced to drive the wrong way down Austin to get to the next field or make a u-turn on Austin once they realize their logical path was blocked. The other dangerous alternative was to travel down Forrester slowing all traffic causing faster cars to try to pass a long line of backed up traffic.
Dale said all this would have been unnecessary if the planning department would include the agricultural community in their planning. â€œRoad projects are happening without the ag community in mind, â€œ Dale said. â€œWe feel suggestions have fallen on deaf ears.â€
William Brunet, Director of Public Works said that the barrier was put in place to stop left hand turns down Nichols. The barrier was a compromise and was done for public safety. He said that â€œt-boneâ€ accidents cause fatalities, but rear end accidents donâ€™t.
Supervisor Michael Kelley suggested Dale request the barrier issue to be brought back as an item on the agenda so the board could take a better look at the problem.
â€œRequest is made,â€ Dale readily replied.
Kelley also suggested that someone from the Farm Bureau should be on the planning commission board to represent the agricultural community so decisions are made for the benefit for all.