This stretch of Espola Road has been the subject of discussion for more than 25 years as it’s one of the few sections that has not been upgraded along this widely-travelled corridor.
At one point, the City Council looked at – and rejected – the idea of widening it to a four-lane roadway. Staff later proposed a compromise: a three-lane roadway (a travel lane in each direction plus a continuous center left-turn lane) along with a list of other improvements that would relieve traffic, increase capacity of the existing roadway and improve safety for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. City Council ultimately decided that while there wasn’t a significant enough need to widen the road, the other safety improvements were needed. (Agenda report for Oct. 1, 2013 Council Meeting)
Most of this section has no pathway, outside of a narrow dirt trail directly alongside the busy road. Pedestrians navigate uneven walkways, utility poles, street signs and more – all while keeping an eye on cars travelling at speeds of 45 miles per hour (and higher).