Highway 50 restriping ‘postponed indefinitely’

Kurt Hildebrand / The Record-Courier

STATELINE, Nev. – A proposal to restripe a section of Highway 50 to test the reduction from four lanes to three has been postponed indefinitely, according to the state.

NDOT Deputy Director of Administration, Planning and Performance Darin Tedford told county commissioners that the decision was made after hearing public protests, from the board of directors and the work done at Warrior Way.

He said the state will be looking at ways to slow down traffic along the route in order to reduce the severity of crashes on the highway.

Tedford told county commissioners that there are 100 crashes on the highway a year and that the route exceeds the statewide average crash rates by 85 percent.

“Other roads in the state don’t have a similar level of crashes,” he said.

Highway 50 is expected to undergo repaving next year, Tedford said with work going out to bid over the next two months with the state Transportation Board of Directors hearing the proposal in October or November.

He said at the end of that project the road will be striped similar to its current condition, without reduced sections.

One proposal might be to slow the speed limit on portions of the highway.

County Commissioner Wes Rice, who has lived at Tahoe for more than 31 years, said he hasn’t received a single email or phone call supporting a proposal to reduce the highway to two travel lanes and a center lane.

“I cannot even begin answer all the emails I’ve received through all of this,” he said. “There is not enough time in the day to engage in conversations with all the people who don’t want this to happen. To a person, there isn’t anybody on this board in favor of this process.”

Rice acknowledged there were severe issues along Highway 50, including people parking despite signs.

He suggested that reducing the speed and installing rumble strips might help, but one key is increasing enforcement.

“Something has to be done, but this isn’t it,” he said.

Many of the worst collisions on the highway are the result of impaired drivers, prompting one Tahoe resident to suggest implementing DUI checkpoints.

Commissioner Walt Nowosad suggested that perhaps traffic cameras recording license plates might be a way to reduce the scofflaws.

However, state law has prohibited the use of traffic cameras for issuance of citations since 1999. That law was updated in the 2021 session.

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