Letter: The best Main Street in America (opinion)
This proposal was sent to the TRPA back in January.
South Lake Tahoe, California and Stateline, Nevada have just one opportunity to re-route U.S. 50 in a manner to enable development of the best Main Street in America. While several of the plans that made the final cut would be quite beneficial to the revitalization of the downtown area, they still would fall short of what could be created.
We can do everything under the current re-routing plans, plus create a park with views of the lake, and allow further development along a new part of the walking Main Street that would extend from the intersection of existing U.S. 50 and Lake Avenue to the intersection of U.S. 50 and Nevada Route 207. This simply involves moving the proposed rotary east so that the existing meadow used for sledding in the winter can become part of the walking Main Street.
U.S. 50 can be routed up the east side of the existing pond near the intersection of 50 and 207 and behind some of the businesses along the beginning of the grade, and then run some distance behind the current meadow used for sledding in the winter before connecting into lake avenue behind the casinos. With this change you will create an entirely new section of the peaceful walking Main Street that can initially be made into a park as business development proceeds below the meadow from Lake Avenue to the grade.
This entire meadow block can be part of the new Main Street with a loop that goes past the pond and up the meadow before turning in a circle and connecting back into existing 50 (the new Main Street) along the stretch of Lake Avenue east of MontBleu. A park can be developed on the upper inside part of this loop that will have stunning lake views perfect for a park setting.
If the Edgewood side of this new part of Main Street (Lake Avenue to the grade) cannot be developed because of the golf course, development can at least proceed along the mountain side. This should include re-siting the event center from the proposed location at the MontBleu parking lot to a location across existing Lake Avenue to the upper west side area of the new Main Street loop. The event center, likely to get intermittent use, should not be located on the greatest Main Street in America. Moving its proposed location would make further room for more quaint business development or park areas directly on Main Street next to the casino district.
A significant benefit is the extension of Main Street into Nevada where new shops and store-fronts will complement and blend into the existing business district in Stateline.
Of course, there is opposition to development of any kind, but let’s face it, the high density tourist district already exists. Replacing the large sledding area with shops and restaurants, and particularly a park to be enjoyed by all, will only enhance the beauty and functionality of this area that is currently only active in winter. The approach on U.S. 50 to the casino area on the Nevada side would be made similar to that on the California side softening the visual aesthetics of the casino district.
Why not do the best we can for this one-time massive transportation improvement and revitalization project? Perhaps this proposal was made too late. But does that matter if it makes sense. I live in the grade area and I am in favor of making downtown a highly desirable place to bring my family and extended family to. We can make our downtown a showplace, environmentally and aesthetically. We have a chance to make it the best downtown in America.