City will light up milelong stretch of Pioneer Trail |

City will light up milelong stretch of Pioneer Trail

Michael Schneider

Not only will a dangerous section of Pioneer Trail be outfitted with street lights, the city will not violate its own code in doing so.

Tuesday night South Lake Tahoe City Council members voted to fund street lights on Pioneer Trail between U.S. Highway 50 and Ski Run Boulevard.

City Engineer Brad Vidro said there have been six pedestrian related accidents in the last five years on the milelong expanse of roadway.

After Council member Tom Davis brought the issue forward last fall, the city engineering staff returned Tuesday night with three options to illuminate the road.

The council approved the first option, which requires a $3,800 annual General Fund expenditure. Other options would have asked for commitments from the businesses along the trail. Vidro said the chances of this happening were not good.

The council-approved option will place high pressure sodium lights on 29 existing utility poles. Vidro said each light will cast a 30-foot footprint of illumination.

Should the lighting not be adequate, Vidro said the council can approve the installation of poles where there are dark spots. Each pole would cost $350, according to Vidro.

The lights would have been out of compliance with the city code because Sierra Pacific Power Company would be responsible for maintaining them and would not paint them green. The city code requires lights to be green.

Council member Brooke Laine said the city should set an example for the community and fund the additional expense to have the lights painted and in compliance with the code.

Before the vote, Ken Daly, Area Transit Management general manager, urged the council to approve the first option as he said his buses drive the route every day and lighting is needed.

Davis first brought the issue forward last November when he said he’d driven the road at night and saw a family walking in darkness and nearly in the roadway.

The section of Pioneer Trail is walked at all hours of the day and night by people coming and going from the state-line area and casino core.

Vidro said the lights would be put up as soon as the Sierra Pacific work schedule allows.

The council vote was unanimous.

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