keep hwy 50
Tahoe East Shore Alliance – TESA – is a large and growing coalition of neighbors and residents along the east shore who represent a strong voice of leadership against overdevelopment, excessive tourism, and regional planning that is opposed to the voice of residents.
Road diets create the illusion of safety, without actual safety. ~Randal O'Toole, Thoreau Institute
Our goal is to protect our Lake and forests, highways and communities from ill-conceived plans by a few urban planners and bureaucrats who aim to recreate the Tahoe basin in their own image. The future of our basin depends on residents who will stand up, speak up and hold the line before it’s too late.
Our first priority is the preservation and safety of the 4-lane US 50 corridor which serves the larger South Lake Tahoe and East Shore communities as the only viable emergency evacuation route in the event of wildfire. NDOT’s Corridor Management Plan 2.0, which threatens to remove 2 of 4 traffic lanes in favor of a bike path, is back on the table despite fervent and consistent opposition from residents.
The Caldor Fire was a wake-up call to all of us. The evacuation was chaotic despite a 4-lane US 50.Imagine that evacuation scenario with only 2 lanes.
Bottom line: We need an effective fire evacuation corridor more than we need a road-diet or bi-modal bike path.
Join our efforts to ensure that US 50 improvements and modifications enhance basic transit safety, traffic flow and evacuation capacity for visitors and residents along our East Shore and Tahoe basin communities.
Residents go to war over road diet havoc
The problem in less than 5 minutes
In December 2023, Nevada State Governor Joe Lombardo directed the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to keep US 50 a four-lane thoroughfare from Stateline to Spooner Summit. This modified NDOT’s US 50 East Shore Corridor Management Plan, or CMP, regarding lane configuration. However, other aspects of the CMP remain unaffected,
Fact Check US 50: Is Lake Tahoe Basin Well-Prepared for Wildfires ? If you live in South Lake Tahoe or along the East Shore, are you confident that your family can safely evacuate along US Hwy 50 if a major wildfire threatens your home? According to public records obtained from
Abstract This paper compares government-specified road-diet thresholds in traffic volume to peak daily traffic data from Placer.ai visitation data in the segment of US 50 from Stateline to Round Mound. In all cases, maximum thresholds were handily exceeded during peak season. Moreover, road diets are designed to improve pedestrian safety
When it comes to public comment regarding the Tahoe East Shore Corridor Management Plan and outreach to the community, NDOT makes frequent reference to its numbers: 3 rounds of noticed public outreach. 50 meetings. More than 780 participants. 1530 comments. These public comments are summarized and categorized by staff and
Fact check 50: “30% of accidents are caused by excessive speed” “Speed is the problem.” We hear this often from NDOT engineers and TRPA/ CMP bureaucrats as justification for drastic speed reduction and reconfiguration measures of 4-lane US 50 that remove large sections of 2 lanes a way to slow
What is the probability of factors other than speed in excess of posted limit being the cause of accidents along Tahoe East Shore Corridor between Stateline and SR28, including intersections? Using the sample of traffic accident data taken between 2016 and 2020 and applying standard statistical hypothesis testing methodology, we
In 2017 NDOT came to the community held a meeting at Zephyr Cove school. They expected a small crowd. Over 200 people showed up passionately against this project. NDOT went away for five years and came back with essentially the same plan. They didn’t have any public meetings. They obfuscated the public comment by having people put Post-it notes around the room so can say whatever they want the public comment to be. It was a mess.
The traffic flow studies upon which the CMP study team relied are averages and do not capture the real congestion problems that residents and visitors face under Peak flow conditions this can only be established through comprehensive collection of peak traffic volume speed and Transit time data. NDOT is now proposing to shut down two lanes of traffic for a demonstration project to allow NDOT to gather important data points such as average speeds crash data rates and performance of merged Verge points. again that word average in my view this is a major oversight and downplays the real issue along the corridor which is congestion during rush hours and over weekends and holidays during the high seasons.
NDOT ran a Statewide study back in 2016 asking residents what they wanted most out of their highways. Do you know that the number one answer was? Operational efficiency. Imagine, Nevada tax paying citizens want to be able to move on the roads that you built. Do you know how many Nevada citizens want a bike path? 16 percent . I am asking you the board one more time to please listen to the people in the state.
Traffic is projected to increase as it has for decades along the CMP corridor and NDOT wants to shrink it--this doesn’t make sense. The data case studies and road shrinkages that NDOT has cited in support of its campaign are almost all inapplicable to Highway 50. And the claim that road shrinkage will reduce travel time by only 2 minutes from Spooner Summit to Stateline is not credible. Operation in winter will be horrible. What do you think is going to happen then? Highway 50 is defined as a principal arterial. Reducing the width and number of lanes and enforcing multiple merging traffic patterns will harm the interests of residents, commuters, business people truckers and public safety personnel.
After delaying your plans last December to make the changes to our 13-mile stretch, you promised you would return first to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners and most importantly to us as residents regarding lane reductions. Those promises were not honored… We want to improve safety but very few of us embrace the lane reductions you continue to propose. We want turn Lanes, we want lights if needed, roundabouts and elimination of on-road parking, decreased speed limits signage, Illuminating current speed and increased law enforcement presence--not reducing the lanes which compromises our travel.
Does anybody recall the previous generation’s long fight to make US 50 a four-lane? The previous generation is still alive and although they’re not here they’re in their 80s most of them they remember a time when that was two lanes and they fought so hard with far less traffic to make this a four-lane highway. This lane reduction affects tourism for our business, it affects tourists because they won’t want to come to Lake Tahoe and sit in a bottleneck every single holiday.
Does NDOT US 50 East Shore management plan address snow removal operations adequately? Winter weather put the highway in a challenging position. I don’t understand how the plow teams will move the snow off the road if lanes are removed and how so many visitors, supply trucks and locals can rely on this highway to move.
I’m a road cyclist. I love riding but I do not support the proposal. If the purpose of reducing lanes on 50 is to reduce crashes from cyclist and car interactions there are better proposals.
I was in the third graduating class of George Whittell High School. In 1963 when traffic conditions warranted widening that road to 4 lanes, we were so happy. It is ridiculous to even talk about narrowing this road now. I am a 34-year veteran from the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District. Those hundred accidents that they say happen in that area each year, about a third of them are in Zephyr Cove, mostly due to the parking on the highway, people that are under the influence trying to get into their cars and walking down the middle of the highway. Stop the parking on the highway and clean up Zephyr Cove.
Through terrible weather and long tourist seasons, we all suffer the same problems of overcrowded roads. The thought of making them smaller makes our employees who travel from the valley very frightened to drive up and down our roads. How are we going to get people to work in Lake Tahoe with only one lane?
I want to remind you that, courtesy of the Tahoe fund non-profit, Douglas County has a sawmill and logging trucks now graze Highway 50 from South Lake Tahoe down to Carson City for further conflict on the roadway. And that logging Mill is going to be there for many many years. I hope you are listening to the public as well as the business owners at this is a very critical juncture in the future of what the East Shore Corridor is going to look like.
Please do not restrict our mobility on our roadways. There's other ways to deal with the bike traffic and basically as far as I understand this is TRPA is pushing bicycles and bicycle lanes. They do not belong in the highway in any form. Bicycles are a wonderful thing but they have no business on Highway 50. They are no match for cars.
Every time you do maintenance or road construction like Warrior Way, we see how much it backs up the traffic and the gridlock that happens when you when you narrow the lanes. I think there should be more focus on the safety in slowing the traffic down in certain areas. We need radar signs flashing driver travel speed and we need enforcement personnel to slow people down.
After 37 years in the Aerospace industry we always took a system engineering approach to everything we never made decisions without doing modeling and simulation of the impact. I don't believe NDOT has a high-fidelity model a comprehensive model of that Corridor at all I've asked NDOT for this information and suggested they might talk to UNR transportation engineering department. They have technology that NDOT does not and are willing to help. But no one has reached out to them. Where is the technical support and modeling for this project? I don’t think it exists.
National highway safety crash data (chapter 2 table 32) show that there are 9 times fewer fatalities on 4 lane roadways than 2 lanes. If the true goal is traffic safety these factors should be addressed in the order of importance. Lane reductions do not mitigate the root problems and proposed road diets like NDOT’s are not indicated for Rural arterial roads like ours, particularly when evacuating with fire or snow.