Douglas County Commissioners go on record against U.S. 50 ‘road diet’

STATELINE, Nev. – The Douglas County Commission unanimously approved a resolution designating U.S. Highway 50 as an evacuation corridor during their Thursday, March 7 meeting.

The resolution was drafted in response to the Nevada Department of Transportation’s U.S. 50 Corridor Management Plan. The plan originally included a road diet proposal that would change portions of the highway from Spooner Summit to Stateline from two-lanes each direction to one-lane each direction.

Many Douglas County residents in Tahoe spoke out against that portion of the plan, raising concerns of safety during a fire, since that road is a major evacuation route.

During the Thursday meeting, Douglas County Sheriff Daniel Coverley mentioned recent examples of fire evacuation, including the Tamarack and Caldor fires.

“50 is a major artery in and out of Lake Tahoe and would play a significant role in any type of evacuation out of Lake Tahoe,” Coverley said.

While the road diet portion of the plan was removed from the CMP, concerns of it getting reintroduced in future plans have been raised by the public. This resolution doesn’t prevent that from happening but it is a public declaration by the county against it.

“I think stating publicly and making this a priority for the county, reassuring our residents this is important to us is the goal of this resolution,” said Coverley.

Commissioner Wes Rice, who introduced the resolution, added to Coverley’s statement.

“[The resolution] reaffirms the fact that we want to keep U.S. 50 as four lanes. Douglas County wants to go on record as saying, ‘Leave our highway 50 alone,'” said Rice.

The resolution passed unanimously.

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