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 transferred into notation form from sticky notes, comment cards, notations made on the maps, and electronic submissions.
Until September of 2023, little was known or shared concerning the substance of these comments. So, in August of 2023, Tahoe East Shore Alliance (TESA) filed a records request with NDOT for all records related to public comments so we could see what was actually said.
In late August, our request produced 1067 comments (of the 1500+ claimed) from three rounds of meetings, which we have reviewed in detail. Our analysis considered only those comments that directly address the proposed plan feature of 2 or 4 through traffic lanes for the reconfigured US 50.
In summary, of all public comments with respect to the 2/4 lane question on US 50:
- 87% advocate for 4-lane evacuation route.
- 10% favor 2 through lanes plus center turning lane
- 4% are unclear.
The predominant factor for those supporting 4 lanes is the concern for safety, in particular emergency evacuation safety in the event of wildfire.
The predominant factor for those in support of 2 lanes is mixed for bike path and improved safety/ accident reduction.
Across the board, turning safely for residents getting on and off the highway is a universal concern.