Dayton Valley Road congestion worries neighbors

DAYTON - Maintenance and school related traffic congestion on Dayton Valley Road are becoming an increasing concern to local residents.

County officials say there appear to be no easy solutions.

Lyon County Public Works Director Chuck Swanson told attendees at a recent Dayton Regional Advisory Council meeting research is being done on how to alleviate traffic problems, including where a second bridge can be built accessing Dayton Valley Road and on long-term solutions as to how to deal with school traffic problems.

"Hopefully this will give us a long-term idea of what to do in this area. The schools are carrying around 1,700 students at this time. Current growth along the Highway 50 corridor supports projections the schools will easily double in population, even with the opening of the new Silver Springs high school. We have some things in our face right now in terms of supporting the growth that is happening in this area. So, it is a real concern to me," he told the council.

Swanson said of immediate concern is the 20- to 30-minute backup of traffic in the morning at the intersection of Dayton Valley Road and Breakwater as everyone is arriving for school and commuters are heading to work.

"We have some ideas, but, at best, it will be status quo for at least two months until we can do something physical. We have been working with Nat (School District Superintendent Nat Lommori) in trying to find a second entrance into the school area."

Noting school will convene in just three weeks, he said meetings have been held and the involved entities are working on the problem.

Swanson said dealing with maintenance of Dayton Valley Road and the landscaping of the medians is a little more difficult.

"Somehow, even though the road is not officially in the county maintained system, we (the county) have inherited the problem. The condition of that road is a big dollar problem and I'm not sure where we are going to go or what is going to happen to that road.

"The reality is, the road probably is going to be ours. And we are left with at least $1 million worth of work I don't have the money for."

Road Superintendent Gary Fried said the issue will discussed at the upcoming Regional Transportation Commission meeting.

Originally the road was the responsibility of the developers of the Dayton Valley planned development. Claiming they were not completed to county acceptance standards, county officials have never accepted certain portions of Dayton Valley Road. New owners of the project say they should not be responsible for bringing it into compliance.

The developers also say they will not maintain the landscaped medians and turned off the irrigation system last fall. The county repaired the system this spring and, along with volunteer help, have been trimming back the overgrown trees and bushes.

However, Swanson said responsibility ultimately must be with the homeowners in the area.

"I am doing minimum, minimum, minimum maintenance on those islands. The original concept, as I understand it, was they were to be maintained by the homeowners association. We are going to need some help on how we are going to resolve that."

Swanson said his department does not have the money or the people to maintain them for much longer and agreed with the suggestion of one resident that the easiest solution would be to tear all the vegetation out and pave it over.

Dayton resident Eva Owsian suggested the plants be given away free to those who want them.

"What is wrong with getting it out of there. Everybody is pointing a finger at everybody else. My solution would be free plants. They would go to good use and your maintenance would be gone. Obviously, nobody really wants to take care of it."

Swanson stressed he felt it is a community resource and it should come from the community as to what should be done.

"It really is a tough issue to address and I am really at a loss on how to address it," he said.


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