Slicing Through Apple Hill Traffic: El Dorado County Goes ‘Lean’ to Tackle Weekend Congestion
9/28/18 Every fall thousands of tourists stream into Apple Hill, the famed El Dorado County district, to celebrate the respite from Summer heat and welcome in the brisk air and falling leaves. Some come for the plethora of apples and apple products, some for the hay rides and some for the arts and crafts, but all added up, it equals 300% more traffic, which can cause a mile-long backup.
Agristourism helps drive the local economy, so minimizing traffic for tourists and ensuring access for residents is just good business. El Dorado County and the Apple Hill Growers Association have teamed up to try a new way of “peeling the apple,” so to speak. They will run a creative pilot program to convert traffic to one way (instead of two) on 2.5 miles of Carson Road, the main Apple hill thoroughfare, in order to dedicate the other lane for shuttle busses and emergency vehicles. To make it easy for visitors to use the shuttle, 400 parking spaces are available at the start of the shuttle route. The new ‘lean’ approach—incubated in SACOG’s Civic Lab program—is intended to reduce cars on the road, speed up the shuttle service, streamline car traffic and preserve emergency access.