Public Suggests US HWY 50 Requires “Complete Streets”

Opinions from residents and businesspersons who weighed-in on the US Highway 50/South Shore Community Revitalization project (Loop Road), indicated 82 percent believe the most important goal is to beautify the corridor and create gathering spaces for locals and visitors.

Efforts to reduce traffic congestion and improve mobility options were mentioned by 67 percent of respondents; with the need to support vitality and revitalization/economic development specified by 60 percent, rounding out the three most important objectives.

Opinions indicate 82 percent believe that the most important goal for the US/50 South Shore Community Revitalization project is to beautify the corridor and create gathering spaces for locals and visitors.

Opinions indicate 82 percent believe that the most important goal for the US/50 South Shore Community Revitalization project is to beautify the corridor and create gathering spaces for locals and visitors.

Tahoe Transportation District and community representatives recently hosted an update on the project, which attracted more than 90 attendees and approximately 200 participants through Crowdbrite, an interactive online platform that details the project’s proposed alternatives and invites comments. The website www.ConnectSouthShore.com launched at the open house and will accept responses through Jan. 31, 2015.

The current proposal intends to realign US Highway 50 near Stateline with four lanes along Lake Parkway East behind Harrah’s, MontBleu and the Village Shopping Center (formerly the Crescent V) while converting the artery through the casino core into three lanes with thoroughfares reconnecting at Pioneer Trail in California. A reclassification from federal highway to local street status would provide for local area control and development of a local “main street.”

Mike McKeen, an area businessman and owner of the building that houses The Naked Fish and Powder House near the intersection of Pioneer Trail and Highway 50, provided his vision for the area with plans and renderings from an architect he hired.

“Public response and participation is exactly what we’re looking for,” said Carl Hasty, district manager, Tahoe Transportation District. “Having the community’s involvement and suggestions for the project is crucial to both the overall planning and for the environmental documents, the next step in the process.”

Next steps include release of the Environment Impact Review in spring 2015, which will outline the environmental technical studies and the draft. This document will circulate for no less than 60 days for public and agency review and comment. After all comments are incorporated and/or responded to, a preferred alternative will be selected and the Final EIS/EIR will be considered for certification and approval by TRPA (TRPA approval), the Federal Highway Administration (NEPA approval), and the Tahoe Transportation District Board (CEQA approval). When the preferred alternative is approved and the environmental document is certified, then TTD can proceed with final design and right-of-way acquisition.

The US Highway 50 project is intended to revitalize the South Shore of Lake Tahoe but will also integrate with numerous existing and planned projects including the following:

  • Nevada Stateline to Stateline Bikeway – South Shore Demonstration Multi-use Trail from Stateline to Round Hill Pines Resort
  • Harrison Avenue Improvement Project
  • US 50 Water Quality and Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Project – Ski Run to Trout Creek
  • Linear Park Multi-use Trail
  • Van Sickle Bi-State Park
  • Transit Shelter and Service Improvements
  • Kingsbury Grade Improvement Project
  • South Tahoe Greenway (future)
  • Lake Tahoe Passenger Ferry Project (future)
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