City to look into feasibility of Loop Road alternative route

Laney Griffo

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Lake Tahoe City Council on Tuesday night approved a traffic study to look into a possible Loop Road alternative.

The US 50 South Shore Community Revitalization Project, known as the Loop Road, is meant to create a main street area in the casino corridor by redirecting U.S. Highway 50.

The plan, which is led by Tahoe Transportation District, would require housing units in the Rocky Point Neighborhood to be torn down, something council has said it is against.

On Feb. 2, they approved a resolution to pursue an alternative route which would keep the neighborhood intact.

Two one-way lanes of eastbound traffic would be routed from U.S. 50 to Heavenly Village Way to Lake Parkway to rejoin the highway in Stateline, and two lanes of westbound traffic would be routed from U.S. 50 at Pine Blvd in Stateline to rejoin the highway at Park Avenue.

The traffic study that was approved on Tuesday will examine the feasibility of this route. It will review, among other things, whether the plan can be done with just signs and street striping or if it will take more intensive changes. It will also look at travel speed comparisons of the different routes.

Mayor pro tem Devin Middlebrook, who provided the only no vote on the study, is concerned about how much the city is actually able to do with the project since TTD is the lead agency. TTD has not responded to requests to answer that question.

Mayor Tamara Wallace said this study is simply to see if an alternative route is even feasible.

With the study results in hand, the city could have more lobbying leverage with TTD.

During the meeting, council approved a concessionaire agreement with Tessie’s BBQ & Beach Bites to provide food services at Lakeview Commons this summer. Owners of Tessie’s own several other eateries in town, including the Baked Bear.

Three spots were filled for vacancies in several commissions. Stacey Ballard will be filling a vacant spot on the Airport Land Use Commission, Brian Conway will be filling a vacancy on the El Dorado County Commission Action Council and Keith Roberts filled a spot on the Building Board of Appeals.

There are still two vacancies on the appeals board and the city will continue accepting applications.

Finally, the council approved mid-year budget adjustments for the 2020/21 budget. Some of the changes include putting more money into capital improvement projects that were put on hold because of the pandemic, such as Fire Station III improvements, and road drainage improvement projects.

Several staff positions were adjusted too. For example, the communications manager and HR manager positions will now be two assistant to the city manager positions.

The next city meeting will be held on at 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 20.

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