Caltrans considering speed increase on Hwy 50 |

Caltrans considering speed increase on Hwy 50

Adam Jensen

Adam Jensen / Tahoe Daily TribuneA motorcyclist rides along U.S. Highway 50 through South Lake Tahoe late last month.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Traffic along U.S. Highway 50 hasn’t exactly been moving at light speed in recent weeks, but motorists could be moving along a little faster once construction is complete.

Caltrans is undertaking a review of the speed limits between Meyers and Stateline as part of a regular review process, said Caltrans spokeswoman Deanna Shoopman.

Speed limits would be increased by 5 mph or kept the same following the conclusion of the study, Shoopman said. The speed limit in within South Lake Tahoe city limits is 35 and 50 in the Meyers area respectively.

The state requires reviews of the speed limits on roads where the limit is 55 mph or less at least every seven years, Shoopman said.

South Lake Tahoe police chief Brian Uhler said he had mixed feelings about the possibility of an increased speed limit along the South Shore’s main artery. Uhler said public safety is the obvious concern, but said he understands people’s desire to get from place to place faster.

He said ongoing improvements along the Highway 50 could make the roadway safer even with an increased speed limit. Road conditions are one of the most significant factors when it comes to safe driving speeds, Uhler added.

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“For me it really comes down to circumstances as a whole and what is safe and unsafe,” Uhler said. He said he is interested in hearing the public’s views on the possible increase.

Caltrans will seek the concurrence of South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado County before completing the study and making any changes to speed limits, Shoopman said.

She said the study is not expected to be completed for another six months.

“It’s not just like tomorrow we’re changing it,” Shoopman said. “It doesn’t happen that way. It’s a very slow process.”