Nevada takes Highway 50 road diet off the table

A Nevada Department of Transportation to restripe a mile of Highway 50 from Zephyr Cove Resort to Round Hill Pines has been 'postponed indefinitely.'

A Nevada Department of Transportation to restripe a mile of Highway 50 from Zephyr Cove Resort to Round Hill Pines has been 'postponed indefinitely.'

Opponents to a road diet as part of the Highway 50 corridor study have something to be thankful for.

At the Nov. 13, Nevada Department of Transportation Board of Directors state officials said that they will no longer pursue reducing lanes as part of an effort to increase safety on the highway that snakes along Lake Tahoe.

Deputy Director of Administration, Planning and Performance Darin Tedford told directors, including Gov. Joe Lombardo, that a proposal to test lane reductions was rendered unnecessary by construction that essentially did the same thing.

“We will no longer pursue lane reduction as a possible safety improvement,” he said. “We’ll be adding turn lanes where we can while keeping four lanes and reducing parking.”

The state installed a traffic signal at Warrior Way that resulted in a lane reduction and substantial back-ups on the highway.

Lombardo, former Clark County Sheriff, said he talked to Douglas Sheriff Dan Coverley and Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam and said that between the county and state authorities there should be some dedicated enforcement to slow down traffic on the highway.

Long-time Douglas County resident Stephen Ascuaga said Highway 50 is a hard stretch of road to improve.

“It’s a complex stretch of road,” he said. “As you go from the top of the summit to Stateline It has so many different personalities. I appreciated everybody’s time. We all agree there can be improvements made.”

Lombardo echoed Ascuaga’s comments.

“I appreciated the public’s participation,” he said. “It shows the process works. The backbone of this idea was safety.”

The state has set up speed feedback signs along the highway that seem to be reducing speeds, Tedford said.

Just before Labor Day, the state proposed restriping part of Highway 50 to test a plan to reduce it to two lanes with a turn lane.

That plan would not have affected the actual width of the road, but where the lines were painted.

“However, due to a reassessment of the unique operations of this route, NDOT is no longer considering incorporating lane reductions as part of a demonstration project or the upcoming paving scheduled to begin next year,” spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said on Friday. “The reassessment is based on numerous elements, including traffic flow and analysis following this summer’s road work zones for highway and utility improvements, as well as feedback received as part of continuing stakeholder and public outreach.”

Ragonese said that the final corridor study report will be published in 2024.


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