Muller Parkway stays on the books
July 17, 2017
There's no money to build it and sections of the right of way remain unaccounted for, but Muller Lane Parkway will remain on the books, without trucks.
Douglas County commissioners voted 3-2 to reject an effort to allow trucks on Muller Lane after a nearly three-hour debate. Commissioners Barry Penzel, Larry Walsh and Dave Nelson voted against allowing trucks on the road, while Steve Thaler and Nancy McDermid voted in favor.
County Engineer Eric Nilssen said a traffic count showed less than 2 percent of the traffic on Highway 395 consisted of large trucks, and around half of those were making local deliveries.
Nilssen said that the parkway is required for the county to maintain its current level of service on Highway 395. When approved before the Great Recession, seven projects would have been served by the parkway, but some of those have expired.
Representatives of the towns of Minden and Gardnerville urged commissioners to retain the parkway in order to alleviate some of the traffic passing up the Highway 395 corridor.
"There've been no trucks on it since 2005," Commissioner Dave Nelson said. "I don't see any reason to change it. It's not built yet. We should leave it the way it is for the time being."
Nilssen pointed out that even if the parkway were to allow trucks, it wouldn't eliminate truck traffic downtown. That would require trading the current downtown corridor to the state for Muller Parkway.
Since that would almost double the $39.4 million estimate to build the parkway, and the board voted to keep trucks off Muller, that plan was determined to be moot.
According to the a Nevada Department of Transportation traffic count, 23,500 vehicles a day use the highway through Minden and Gardnerville. Of those 12,500 were counted at Highway 395 at Waterloo, indicating they are coming from within Carson Valley.
Some Topaz Lake residents waiting through the discussion on Muller Parkway so they could get some work done on their roads.
Resident Douglas Roderick said the potholes were so bad a full-sized car couldn't get through in places.
"We've got some roads now where there's such erosion from the sides you can barely get a compact car through," he said. "You've got money to give raises to county employees. There ought to be some consideration for the taxpayers."
Roderick pointed out that the intersection of Kit Carson and Comstock is particularly bad.
"That corner gets runoff and when it accumulates at the curve it overflows the road. It's eroding the asphalt until there's not much left, and it's making a gully down my road."