Opinion: 2015 Paradise downtown street project reducing 4 lanes to 2, may have created dangerous evacuation bottleneck during the California Camp Fire Evacuation

Unfortunately, elsewhere on the Skyway downtown business district section, and as we see in the Figures 1-4 Google Earth photos, those parking spaces remained.

You’d think the city planners, and council members would have had a clue back then, that the lane reduction that “caused congestion” would be a huge liability in the event of a fire evacuation, something both residents and town officials worried about for decades. Perhaps with the completion of the “north escape road” in 2013 they lulled themselves into a sense of escape route adequacy?

In the 2015 report presented to the Paradise Town Council ironically titled Downtown Paradise Safety Project, nobody was discussing fire evacuation issues. Instead, they were discussing things like pedestrian safety, and additional parking,