State ready to test 50 lane reduction

Apparently, the Nevada Department of Transportation has gone through the public comment gathered on the Highway 50 Corridor Study and is ready to test the theory that narrowing the highway in dangerous spots will make it safer.

An email exchange last week indicated that the state plans to reduce 50 from four lanes between Zephyr Cove Resort and Round Hill Pines through the month of August as a demonstration of the plan.

That’s not much worse than a typical road project at the Lake, but the implications for Tahoe residents who are vehemently opposed to any lane reduction are clear.

The county is seeking a meeting with the state before anything occurs on the plan, something that was supposed to happen in February but was delayed.

At the time, the state was pretty clear that they were taking the time to sift through comments submitted through a variety of venues.

Residents declaring victory as a result of the February announcement to delay a meeting might find that celebration was premature. Or maybe not, the department is a public agency and is overseen by the Nevada Transportation Board, which includes the governor.

The proposed corridor concept would see the reconfiguration of the highway to two lanes from four in three high-crash and constrained areas, along with new turn lanes and the possibility of prohibiting parking on the side of the highway.

Residents expressed concern that narrowing the highway would reduce access in an emergency, like the 2021 Caldor Fire that resulted in the evacuation of South Lake Tahoe and portions of Douglas County at the Lake.

The proposed test area includes Presbyterian Curve, which has been the scene of several collisions over the years. High speed has been blamed for several of those crashes, but many also involved an intoxicated driver veering over the double yellow line into oncoming traffic.


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