CalTrans: Bay Area deer get expensive tunnels to cross, humans get less expensive traffic signals.

Letter

Posted by
Thu, December 22, 2011


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Per this article:

Why did the deer cross the road?

“A similar study was successfully performed at Highway 89 near Lake Tahoe after drivers on that roadway were involved in many collisions with deer. The project led Caltrans to build tunnels under the highway for the deer.

‘It seems that deer will follow patterns and use the same crossings,” said Fish and Game biologist Cristen Langner. “They find the easiest way through stuff.’

Most drivers wouldn’t know it, but Highway 280 already has several tunnels specifically so that deer can get across the highway. Those tunnels are equipped with motion-sensor cameras to let Caltrans officials know if deer are crossing.”

Contrasted with this one:

Devil’s Slide crossing spurs renewed debate

“The crosswalk plan was reportedly the only arrangement that could balance safety with cost for Caltrans officials.”

“No price has been quoted for the new crosswalk, but it is certainly cheaper than alternatives such as building an overpass or tunnel. Those plans would have been too expensive for Caltrans, which is expected to foot the bill for the crosswalk, according to Horsley.”

I guess that tells us what we need to know in terms of funding priorities: Deer get tunnels, we get traffic signals.

—DavidV