Put Muller Parkway in park | RecordCourier.com

Put Muller Parkway in park

The willingness to walk away is key to any negotiation, whether it’s buying a new car or getting the right of way for a new road.

In the coming weeks, Douglas County commissioners are scheduled to discuss an agreement that will secure the right of way for Muller Lane Parkway in exchange for permitting Park Holding to build 2,500 homes on property north of Minden and Gardnerville.

We don’t know if commissioners are seriously considering this proposal, but if they are, we would ask that they take a moment and think about which end of the stick they have.

If there was no prior plan for Muller Lane Parkway, the county would insist that the Parks build it as part of any major approval.

It would be a critical thoroughfare to serve both that property and subdivisions downstream, including the one Mike Pegram has behind the Gardnerville Walmart.

That section of the parkway was built before construction, which is how the county should pursue this project, not only as a matter of common sense, but in fairness to the builders who’ve had to complete their sections of the road as a condition of approval.

County traffic engineers have said again and again that Muller Lane Parkway is required to maintain the current level of service C on county roads.

But maintaining that level of service seems irrelevant when in order to get out of the county you have to use a state highway, where level of service D is the rule.

Since most motorists don’t make the distinction between whether a road belongs to the county or the state, it seems fruitless to pursue a level of service the county doesn’t have the wherewithal to accomplish.

A better strategy would be to hit a reset button on the regional transportation plan and then return to negotiations from a position of strength.

An even better plan is to require the Parks go through the regular master plan process.