Wildrose residents lobby for safer street | RecordCourier.com

Wildrose residents lobby for safer street

by Sheila Gardner

The view from Gardnerville into Minden on Wildrose Drive showing the difference in speed limits between the two towns. Residents in Minden asked the town board to install additional stop signs or lower the speed to 15 mph on their section of Wildrose.

After listening to Wildrose Drive residents recount stories of reckless drivers, near misses, endangered children, pedestrians and pets, Minden Town board members agreed to recommend additional stop signs on the residential street.

More than two dozen residents filled the chairs at the Feb. 5 town board meeting to express their concerns about motorists who use Wildrose as a shortcut to avoid Highway 395 and County Road through Minden and Gardnerville.

"Forty-four years ago this summer I moved on Wildrose Drive, and I've seen a lot of changes," said Craig Chambers.

He visited with neighbors last week for their input.

"It's not a 12-2 p.m. problem," Chambers said, "It's early in the morning until 5 o'clock at night."

On Feb. 4, Chambers said he counted 279 vehicles from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

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"Two-hundred seventy-nine cars is not a residential street. It's a thoroughfare. It's a bypass," Chambers said.

"We think stop signs would slow people down and discourage them from using it as a fast way through town."

Chambers said the issue had been discussed by the board in 1998 and 2002, "and nothing happened."

"Somebody's child or grandchild is going to get out in the street one of these days, and then, it's going to be too late," he said.

Long-time resident Debbie Vanegas said she had gone so far as to get in her car and follow speeders so she could turn them into the sheriff's office.

"The sheriff doesn't want to come out here, they have more important things to do," Vanegas said.

She encouraged her neighbors to report speeders.

Sheila Kendrick said Wildrose was an optimum "test strip" for traffic controls because "it crosses town lines, is parallel to Highway 395, and is not that long."

Clark Reid, who lives at the boundary line between Minden and Gardnerville, said he has to be careful mowing his lawn or crossing the street to pick up his mail.

"There's a little bit of a curve there where the speed limit goes from 15 mph (in Gardnerville) to 25 mph (in Minden). People are going 35 mph because they think they have the right to do it," Reid said.

Sherri McGee, who lives at Second Street and Wildrose, told the board there are many families with young children who ride bicycles with their families or push strollers on a street without sidewalks.

She recommended the board authorize stop signs while studying other options.

Donald Chamberlain, a Deseret Drive resident, urged the board to consider lowering the speed limit.

"If you've got to change the speed limit through the whole town, so what? You get up five minutes earlier, and get home five minutes later," Chamberlain said.

The board agreed to put forward a resolution to install stop signs on Wildrose in "strategic locations," and consider lowering the speed limit at a later meeting.

Members agreed that if speed on Wildrose were lowered, residents throughout Minden would probably seek the same relief.

Officials complimented the turnout and thanked the Minden Citizens' Advisory Committee for bringing forth the issue.

Town Chairman Matt Bernard said any change in the ordinance would take about two months to work its way through the system.

If the issue goes before county commissioners, board members urged the same residents to speak before that board.

"Thanks for being here," said board member Steve Thaler. "This is what we need, public comment."

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