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Pleasantview resdients wants action on speeders

Michael Schneider

Pleasantview subdivision residents gathered at the Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District’s monthly board of trustees meeting Wednesday night to ask the board to step up measures to curb speeding in the area.

The GRGID board passed a motion to update a traffic study of the area, and proceed with signage such as “Children At Play” and “No through trucks.”

Representatives from the subdivision will meet with GRGID trustees to come up with the best spots to petition the county to place additional stop signs.

The residents asked for more speed limit signs, stop signs and road humps or bumps to be placed at strategic locations within the subdivision.

Robert Havranek, president of the Pleasantview Homeowners Association, said the problem has worsened so much over the last few years that he believes speeding has risen to a dangerous level.

Havranek said that when he moved to the subdivision in 1991, there were a limited number of entrances and exits in the subdivision which meant predominantly local traffic.

“Originally, we were contained. Now we have five entrances in and out,”Havranek told the GRGID board. “It’s getting kind of overwhelming.”

He said currently there are as many as 600 to 700 cars coming through the area each day going as fast as 60 or 70 mph.

“We try to wave cars down and they give you the finger and drive on our lawns,” said Havranek.

Also addressing the trustees was Pleasantview resident Bob Stulac. Stulac said he has a 3-year-old daughter who was almost killed by a speeder.

Stulac told the board he was pulling into his driveway when a car came speeding down his street heading right at his passenger side door where his child was sitting.

“Luckily, I saw him coming and punched it into my driveway to avoid the accident.

“My daughter’s life is more important to me than mine. I never realized I would feel this way until I had children.”

“I think that’s a very good step,” said GRGID chairman Bruce Nystrom.

“My street is like a race track out there,” said Springfield Street resident Larry E. Plemmons. “Most of the culprits are kids from Douglas High School and women.

“One of these days someone’s going to have a serious accident.”

Nystrom agreed with Plemmons about the speeding.

“It’s folks coming from out of town where the last thing the cops will get you for is speeding,” said Nystrom.

“Try driving down I-5,” said Plemmons of the freeway running through Washington, Oregon and California. “The speed limit is 70 mph and they pass you at 90 mph.”

GRGID manager Bob Spellberg said more speed limit signs won’t help. He said speeders are generally aware of speed limits and consciously break the law.

“It’s state law,” said Spellberg of the 25-mph speed limit in residential areas, “unless otherwise specified.”

Another problem addressed by the home owners at the GRGID meeting was a lack of stop signs in the area as well as the few that Pleasantview has being ineffective.

“People are not stopping at the stop signs,” said Havranek. “(Sgt. Lance) Modispacher said to get their license plates, but you can’t see them, they’re going too fast.”

Spellberg told the crowd that stop signs would have to be approved by the county before any citations issued by law enforcement would be valid.

Stulac then suggested GRGID put up signs that warn motorists to drive slowly due to children at play in the immediate area.

“I’ll put one in my yard tomorrow,” said Stulac. “I’ll buy it if you don’t have the money.”

“We’d be more than happy to put that up,” said Spellberg.

The last traffic concern addressed by the Pleasantview home owners was that of speed humps. Spellberg recently said speed humps were not viable because of the potential liability due to to injury or vehicle damage.

“If you give adequate warning for road humps, then the liability is minimal,” said Havranek, stating his concern for the older residents in Pleasantview who must cross their streets to get their mail.

“The older people can’t move fast enough to get out of the way,” said Havranek.

“I’d pay for the asphalt for speed humps on my street,” said Stulac.

Trustee Vic Hyden spoke highly of speed humps.

“They’ve got a hell of a lot more traffic they didn’t have one year ago,” said Hyden of observations he said he’d made in the subdivision on a recent afternoon. “I’d like to put in a bump of five to six feet.”

Hyden suggested that the Ranchos pay for two deputies to stay in the area.

“I would suspect the people would vote yes on it,” said Hyden.

“That’s still a viable solution,” said Nystrom.

Many of the Pleasantview residents expressed concern that the DCSO was not handling the problem.

“These guys don’t have any answers, they just point fingers,” said Stulac, asking why they would have this attitude when it’s the people who pay their salaries through taxes.

Nystrom said the police are paid out of funds from the gaming taxes. However, Nystrom said the sheriff is elected and ultimately has to answer to the public.

“Go to Sheriff Maple,” said Nystrom. “If someone yelled at your boss, you know where he’d be, right in your stuff.”

Pierini said Friday that none of these problems are related to taxes.

“The deputies are held accountable to the sheriff,” said Pierini. “We’re as accountable as anyone else. The issue comes down to all the traffic we have in Douglas County,” he said.

Pierini said the sheriff’s office has four officers to patrol 750 square miles of road in Douglas County.

“We’re doing the best we can with the resources we’ve got,” Pierini said. “We have given as much attention as possible to their concerns.”

“Cars are just better today so you see more speeding. Most people have no clue how long it takes to stop, no clue. It (speeding) happens everywhere. If we had a magic wand, we’d use it,” Nystrom said.