Kahle Drive vision plan presented to community

Steve Teshara (right) answers questions from community member Robin DeSota about the plan for Kahle Drive.
Laney Griffo / Tahoe Daily Tribune

STATELINE, Nev. — Sorely needed infrastructure improvements on Kahle Drive could serve as the spark for an entire overhaul of the area.

Community members packed the Tahoe Transportation Center Wednesday, Sept. 4, to hear a draft vision of that overhaul and provide feedback.

The driving force of the plan is the repaving of Kahle Drive, explained Steve Teshara, chair of the South Shore Transportation Management Association. Currently, Oliver Park General Improvement District takes care of the road but doesn’t have enough money to completely redo the road.

“It’s an important road but nobody really claims credit of it and it’s in bad shape,” Teshara said.

The road wasn’t built to county standards and has had drainage issues since. Water from Kingsbury Grade flows down to Kahle and the water pipe under the road is old and rusted.

Meghan Kelly, district manager for Nevada Tahoe Conservation District, said the focus of the plan is to, “improve water quality.”

Kelly and Teshara decided since Kahle Drive must be redone, they could talk to stakeholders about other potential improvements to the area.

A central element to the draft vision plan is improving pedestrian access. It envisions sidewalks and bike paths along U.S. 50 from the casinos to Kahle and safer crosswalks at the Kahle Drive and U.S. 50 intersection.

The sidewalks and bike paths will improve scenic quality and there will be less people in their cars, Kelly said.

South Shore Transportation Management Association and Nevada Tahoe Conservation District are working with the Nevada Department of Transportation to find the best plan to put in the crosswalks.

Teshara hopes feedback from Wednesday’s meeting will encourage NDOT to move forward with the plan.

While the Kahle Drive Complete Streets project and the crosswalks are the priority, the plan also includes some wish list items.

The vision plan includes a shared use path from Lake Parkway to Elks Point Road, redevelopment at Kahle Drive and U.S. 50 intersection, and streetscaping along U.S. 50. While community members seemed excited about the plan, there was concern about funding.

Middle Kingsbury resident Dr. Charles White believes the responsibility falls on the GIDs and they should be able to cover the costs. White expressed concern over locals being asked to foot the bill via tax/fee increases.

“Whether Oliver Park GID and Kingsbury GID have the money or not, it’s their street,” White said. “They should be required, in part, to maintain it.”

Because this is just a vision plan, funding has not yet been secured, although Teshara believes part of the funding could come from Barton Health, who just bought the building they currently occupy on Kahle Drive, as well as, surrounding buildings.

“These aren’t expensive projects but this is not a high-profile area,” Teshara said.

He hopes this meeting will gain some attention for the plan.

The comments collected Wednesday will be reviewed and the plan revised based on that feedback.

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