City Council approves traffic calming pilot program, land exchange |

City Council approves traffic calming pilot program, land exchange

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Two busy areas in South Lake Tahoe will be test zones for a pilot traffic calming project after the city council approved the program on Tuesday. 

Residents of the Lakeview (Al Tahoe) and Highland Woods Neighborhoods have long complained about visitors using their neighborhoods as cut-throughs, speeding and illegally parking. City staff hosted two community outreach meetings in the neighborhood and crafted the pilot program to address resident complaints. 

As part of the pilot program, two gateways will be placed on Springwood at Rubicon and Springwood at Silver Dollar, which will inform drivers that they are entering a residential area. A mini traffic circle will also be placed on Springwood at Creekwood. It will be painted to indicate the circle rather than having an island like a traditional traffic circle, which is both cheaper and easier to remove snow. 

Several methods will be used to control traffic on Lakeview Avenue. A gateway will be built at the entrance on Harrison Avenue, movable speed humps will be placed during the summer and a speed feedback sign will also be placed on the road. Spikes will be placed at the exit of Regan Beach to stop people from going in after hours and the parking area outside the gate will be closed after hours. 

Public Works Director Anush Nejad said if this program is successful, similar methods could be used in other areas in the city, such as Tahoe Keys. Several residents called into the meeting to say they were happy with the pilot program. 

During the meeting, the council heard a presentation on the Lake Tahoe Transportation Action Plan. The action plan represents a funding commitment for priority transportation projects which were identified in the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s 2020 Lake Tahoe Regional Transportation Plan. 

Part of the goal of the Regional Transportation Plan is to provide a shared framework with other public entities around the basin which will help prioritize and fund transportation projects. The council wasn’t asked to make a decision regarding the plan but council did ask staff to bring back a proclamation saying they will partake in the regional plan. 

Council also heard a presentation regarding the Broadband Feasibility Study. In May 2022, the city hired NEO Connect to conduct a feasibility study. They had about 540 survey responses, which surpassed their goal of 370. 

NEO Connect is still working with the city to find solutions to fill the broadband need, including installation of fiber optics, tapping into 5G technology and using Starlink for the more remote residents. 

Council expressed interest in pursuing public-private partnerships with the broadband providers as well as partnerships with other public entities. 

The city is hosting a community broadband meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, at the Recreation Center. The city along with Neo Connect, will share the findings from the study and will provide recommendations to improve or expand the current infrastructure. There will also be two virtual workshops, held at noon Tuesday, Sept. 13 and at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15.

Council also approved a land exchange with the California Tahoe Conservancy. The city will give the Conservancy properties along Trout Creek and Cold Creek where the two agencies have historically partnered on restoration projects along with two parcels that hold the auto recycling yard for site restoration. 

In exchange, the city will receive three lakefront properties in the El Dorado Beach/ Lakeview Commons area, several scattered properties for stormwater infrastructure, a parcel adjacent to the Al Tahoe Pioneer Cemetery and a parcel adjacent to the Lake Tahoe Airport. 

The Conservancy will also need to approve the exchange. They will be discussing it during their Sept. 15 meeting. 

A public hearing date was set for Nov. 1, to discuss creation of a Johnson Blvd Underground Utility District. Creation of the district will allow the city to move forward with a Johnson Blvd Complete Street Project. 

Finally, the council recognized Sept. 17-23, 2022 as “Constitution Week.”

Council’s next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20.

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