Recently, County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff announced her intention to remove the current traffic restriction at Treat Boulevard and Cherry Lane to allow westbound traffic on Treat to turn left onto southbound Cherry Lane. She removed this restriction at the behest of John Muir Health, which is opening a new facility adjacent to that intersection.

Mitchoff made this decision without consulting the Walden District Improvement Association, which serves more than 7,000 residents in the area; the affected residents along Walnut Boulevard; or the parents of children attending Walnut Creek Intermediate School. She made this decision without consulting the Contra Costa Centre Municipal Advisory Council (MAC), appointed by the county, a group representing citizens and businesses in the vicinity of the Contra Costa Centre-Pleasant Hill BART station.

The current restriction on westbound Treat traffic was put in place by the county and the City of Walnut Creek over 20 years ago at the urging of residents deluged with commuter traffic utilizing Cherry Lane to avert the congestion along Treat Boulevard. Now, the construction of "infill" residences to the North of Treat is already alarming residents along Cherry Lane and parents of school children along Walnut Boulevard because of a major increase in speeding commuters on their way to Walnut Creek.


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When questioned about the rationale for her decision, the supervisor cited vague "safety problems" along Treat presented by left-hand and U-turns at Jones Road. However, the backing up of that same traffic along Treat waiting to turn left at Cherry will present a greater safety hazard, as it will occur immediately following a sharp turn on Treat. In short, Mitchoff's action has demonstrated little regard for the safety of either the affected residents and school children or, for that matter, the commuters themselves.

Laurence McEwen lives in the unincorporated neighborhood near the Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART station he says will be most affected by this change.