The article on burying utilities had the most appropriate photo attached to a confusing article about a survey that ties together two seemingly similar projects that are totally unrelated: utility lines down a public access highway and those in local neighborhoods.
There seems to be little argument that above ground utility lines are ugly, may pose dangers, should be replaced and under-grounded and are never found in modern planning. Also, consider the aesthetics that Laguna Canyon Road is the least attractive entry to a beautiful town, magnified by unsafe road problems and congestion. The canyon road demands separate immediate attention to develop a complete plan to modernize it. Why is local government even putting something so obvious to a public opinion survey?
Neighborhood utility lines are a “local problem” of each separate neighborhood, to be dealt with by the private owners, who will receive the basic substantial benefit of increased property values, aesthetics, related safety and convenience, as many neighborhoods have already undertaken.
In discussing the canyon road, is it not clear to all who live and use this necessary abomination in all its aesthetic and physical deficiencies that fire safety is an extreme issue as two fires occurred in the canyon in the last few years?
Why should under-grounding be tackled on its own with some ballistic cost estimate when the canyon road’s entire group of problems, and others, can be resolved with a combined, cost-efficient, inter-related, unified revamp and remodel?
The road should be modernized, with a protected bikeway and walkway, while not interfering with the flow of use. (Conversely, consider that insane signal at LCAD, benefiting a private enterprise that created the problem, which does exactly the opposite.)
For economy purposes, should not the very utilities, state and county governments be included in the cost mix for the benefits and expense-saving they are receiving, all while reducing the “down” time.
Clearly, ingress and egress for safety must be insured, but why not do it in an unified, economically reasonable, modern fashion with forward thinking and planning, unlike the very abomination Canyon Road itself?
Are not utility companies required to under ground in most public locations at their expense, which are then passed onto all of their customers, just as government road infrastructure costs are?
Byron Nelson, Laguna Beach