Letter to the editor: Formerly struggling cities are a good example for Tahoe
Recently I participated in the Chamber Trek to Monterey and Livermore to learn how they have successfully improved their communities. Amazingly, both, though alive and thriving now, were once struggling much like Tahoe is currently.
Similar to South Lake, both Livermore and Monterey were once at a crossroads – remain stagnant in old development, which was bad for the community and the economy, or they could reinvent themselves. Both chose to engage in a tough but collaborative process to find solutions to make their communities more livable and sustainable.
Monterey created a world-class geotourisim attraction based on its greatest assets – Monterey Bay and the Coastal Mountains. With incredible cooperation, the various entities made their community walkable, bikable and improved connections to the bay. Monterey went from a dying community to a top-performing destination, and a great place for the locals to live. That was the amazing thing, all the professionals we met actually live in the same place where they work … novel idea.
Livermore had a freeway going through its downtown area and, when the city first proposed rerouting it to create a vibrant new city center, many locals were fearful and objected. But with dedicated vision, this community worked together to deliver a sense of place that now attracts the same locals who originally opposed the idea. Rerouting the traffic away from the town center and creating a real downtown dramatically improved the character of their city.
Both of these places provide examples for us to build on in creating our vision for Tahoe. We all need to agree the status quo is simply not acceptable. We can protect the lake and revitalize our urban cores. But we have to focus on solutions and not just keep saying “no!”
South Lake Tahoe
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This past year has been a rollercoaster for the Lake Tahoe region. As the coronavirus pandemic dragged on, undeterred visitors continued to flock to the area.