As longtime residents on Cramer Road in North Auburn, we are writing to inform you of our alarm and valid concerns over the proposed parking lot and trailhead (Hidden Falls Access and Expansion) at 5345 Bell Road. We will start with a question. Have the County Supervisors and Parks Department staff even driven on Cramer Road and Lone Star Road and Bell Road? They need to before they make any further decisions about this project. They are narrow, hilly and winding country roads that are poorly maintained. GPS will send hikers, cyclists and equestrians coming from I-80 or Highway 49 down Cramer. Cramer Road has no yellow center line and no white lines on the sides (shoulder) due to being too narrow. There are three blind curves.
Does the county plan to purchase easements from all the land owners along Cramer to widen it and bring it up to regulation and make it safe for residents and added vehicles, horse trailers and cyclists before opening the proposed parking lot?
This widening will also need to be done on Bell Road and Lone Star Road as they are also narrow, hilly and winding country roads with blind curves. How many heritage oaks will need to come down to widen these roads and make them safe? Did we mention that we have three young children and the added traffic of several hundred vehicles, horse trailers and cyclists each day will make these roads a virtual death trap? Highway 49 has already been the site of multiple crashes and deaths near Lone Star, Cramer, Lorenson, Joeger and Dry Creek and the county has yet to solve the current problems and safety issues on this treacherous stretch of highway. Is the county putting in a stoplight at Cramer and Lone Star before they open up a parking lot? The county and its supervisors need to take very seriously their responsibility and liability for the accidents and deaths that will surely happen due to the added traffic and congestion. It isn’t just the increased volume of traffic, but also the fact that horse trailers and cyclists biking to the trailhead will compound the problem. Have they thought that through?
We are also concerned about the increased fire danger resulting from the volume of people on Big Hill. With an extensive trail system, that will be impossible to monitor, there will inevitably be hikers and transients camping out.
This area is not a state recreation area or a national forest, this is our home. It is a safe and quiet community and we would like it to stay that way. It is not OK to hurt one person (or group of persons) in order to benefit another person (or group of persons). The county supervisors and parks department know how devastating Hidden Falls Park has been for the residents along Mears Road, Mears Place, and Mt Vernon Road. It is unconscionable that they, knowing what you know, would do this to another beautiful, peaceful, rural community. They should all ask themselves if they would want this massive invasion of privacy in their backyards and if they would want their neighborhood streets turned into dangerous, congested roadways.
Joel and Erica Houston, Auburn