Road diet bad medicine
Cave Rock, scenic views, and windy curves are the attractions on the East Shore of Lake Tahoe. It also features the only four-lane road in the basin, U.S. 50, also called the Lincoln Highway.
It is the only road, able to accommodate oversized loads, several utilities run parallel its lanes, and as we all became aware during the Caldor fire, it is the main evacuation route for 30,000 people. It is our traffic artery and there are no collateral roads given the mountainous terrain.
Yet NDOT and TRPA had other plans for Highway 50. The completion of their ambitious Stateline to Stateline bike path, already open between Sand Harbor and Incline Village, collided with it. To save money they decided it would be the easiest solution to repurpose two lanes for biking and hiking paths. When they proposed this plan in October 2022, it was met with solid opposition by the local residents. In a groundswell of spontaneous activism, a dozen of us gave comments at the various meetings of NDOT directors, TRPA, and Douglas County commissioners. This postponed the decision and pushed it into 2023 and a new administration.
At the Jan. 9 Transportation Board of Directors meeting Janet Murphy and I gave public comment to the new board presided over by Gov. Joe Lombardo.
Our presentations were well received, and the governor asked us to leave our notes and contact information, with the promise he would personally take care of this issue.
Subsequently, NDOT met with Murphy, who is the director of the Tahoe Douglas Sewer System to get more details about her alternative road plan. It would allow for four lanes, reducing the current width of 11/13/13/11 feet to all 11 feet, and using the gained width for necessary turning lanes, and a center lane with a rumble strip. Concrete barriers, although advantageous for permanent lane division, are not practical for the fire department, as they can not get their equipment through during an emergency.
This is why Glenbrook fire station has to service the stretch of Highway 50, which has solid dividers, making it impossible to cross to the opposite lanes, all the way down to Carson City, and vice versa, Carson Fire has to come up to Spooner Summit.
Last week, three of us met with Assemblyman Ken Gray to get his support, which he promised us. On Sunday, he informed me that the new director at NDOT and the governor had put a stop to the lane reduction plan for the foreseeable future.
He recommended the Douglas County Board of Commissioners draw up a petition and send it to NDOT. Additionally, the County Commission has the right to submit a bill draft request to the Nevada Legislature requesting the preservation of the four-lane highway permanently.
Cherish Sheriff’s Office
Last week, my husband and I took week-long classes at the “Citizen’s Law Enforcement Academy” at the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center in Minden.
With reference to rampant and nefarious crimes across our nation, it’s imperative that our citizens and especially our elected DC officials and appointed leaders attend this program. Or better yet, they should have a separate program designed to educate them about our trained, skilled, experienced and talented employees at the sheriff’s station. Competency is a key word when speaking of the very best in the state of Nevada.
We are safer because of these under-recognized professionals! We were educated in the departments of emergency services, the patrol and jail divisions, drug (narcotic) control, bombs and weapons, with our elite SWAT Team, investigations, evidence division, street enforcement, search and rescue, K-9 patrol, citizen patrol, gang unit, boat patrol, Good Neighbor program and all the inclusive extras that the Sheriff’s department provides.
My husband and I no longer take for granted the security we experience in Douglas County. Our elected leaders, Commissioners, and appointed officials need to experience the integrity of each of these professionals in their trained commitment to us! They must be fully supported, in every way, these fine professionals. Our community and county leaders must see and listen to these men and women with their presentations of our law enforcement actions in Douglas County. We will all view these professionals in an enhanced light of respect and admire their faithfulness, duty, honor, loyalty, dedication and bond to their citizens and residents of Douglas County. We are prouder than ever to have been educated by our protectors.
June and Norm Shafer
Put the reigns on BLM
I’m saddened to learn of the recent trapping of 5 wild horses from the Pine Nut herd in the open space off Stockyard @ East Valley in Minden.
A recent article in the Record Courier quoted a BLM representative stating their office had received complaints from area residents. Based upon these complaints a trap was set and five horses removed.
It seems very random to do business this way. Does BLM simply want to leap at complaints as an excuse to remove horses whenever possible? How do they even ascertain if they trapped the horses that were the source of the complaints? This is not “management” of our resources at all!
Trap first, ask questions later is a flawed process. Or is the ultimate decimation of the Wild Horse numbers the hidden agenda?
The local advocate group is very involved with the horses and knows them and their territory very well. If BLM staff would willingly liaise with them they would bend over backwards to help, especially if it meant the herds best interest was at stake. Or, is the BLM a stereotypical Federal Agency operating without any desire to engage local concerns and involve local citizens even if they are more knowledgeable about local issues?
The Pine Nut herd is a local treasure and source of local pride.
They are known well beyond the Carson Valley and horse lovers and photographers come from all over to observe and photograph them, bringing positive notoriety and tax dollars to our area. BLM needs to engage the local advocates in a spirit of cooperation, not simply try to dictate terms based on a few complaints from a small minority of residents.
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