Carson Valley needs a bypass
April 12, 2013
Highway 395 Main Street is an impenetrable problem for a nice local shopping experience that can only be improved by removing through traffic, mostly large trucks.
The idea of slowing down traffic below a posted 25 mph has been tried with disastrous results. We had the experience of pulling off the bypass highway to stop in a small town in one of the central states (forgot where it was) to find a strictly enforced 15 mph limit and stop lights at every second intersection. Lots of stores not doing any business and very few pedestrians or parked cars. That is the result we do not want: The death of downtown. The only possible solution is a bypass highway, with reasonable speed limits and parking available in town making the Minden-Gardnerville corridor a place that tourists will want to come to as a destination.
Without creating a destination point for both locals and tourists our little twin cities will always play second fiddle to the Lake Tahoe and Carson City areas. That is the inevitable result of human nature. As things are now, they are actually getting worse and not better due to the state highway department actions. The Pinenut intersection on 395 has "prepare to stop" signs, but the new light for Walmart access does not, despite also being in a 55 mph zone and just after southbound travel is allowed to increase speed from 45 mph. As it is, the southbound signal and lane situation of Pinenut is clearly unsatisfactory. A large lighted overhead sign for though traffic to merge left is needed, as is the elimination of the overhead signal that clearly indicates two southbound lanes, not only one. Despite several small signs calling for through traffic to merge left, obviously many drivers are convinced by the overhead signals that this merging is coming south of the intersection, and result in panic merging at the latest moment. I see this all too often.