Letter: Let’s create a town we’re proud of at Tahoe’s South Shore
This town needs the Loop Road project because we desperately need a downtown.
Whether it was working as a hotel driver or when friends/family come to visit, everyone asks the same thing — where is the downtown, and where can we walk around to get dinner and drinks? Shock ensues when I tell them we don’t really have an area like that.
Every great town needs a downtown, and it would be difficult for anyone to name a town they love that doesn’t have one.
We all love South Lake Tahoe, but I think most of us also know we need to do better. Driving along U.S. Highway 50 from the “Y” to Stateline doesn’t exactly inspire greatness. The Loop Road is our only shot for a great downtown. Harrison Avenue, Ski Run Boulevard and the “Y” all have great potential for pedestrian-friendly centers. None of these areas, however, can serve as the true downtown for the South Shore.
Once Highway 50 is redirected, you could walk and hang out on small, pedestrian-friendly streets from the gondola to the lake, without the noise and traffic of Highway 50. It can be a quiet, beautiful downtown that is finally worthy of the lake it sits on. Instead of fighting the project, let’s work together to make this project great. Let’s work to give the new downtown character (we don’t want to look like Vail) and let local businesses thrive.
South Lake Tahoe has some amazing recreation, trails, bars and people. The built environment is severely lacking though. If we don’t follow through on the Loop Road, we may be doomed to another 30 years of being a town built more like a strip mall than a place to be proud of.