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Letters to the editor

In order to make his roundabout feasible without bothering to address the bottleneck or the lack of capacity on the roadway, Mr. Long has seized on a brilliant solution to our traffic problem; simply eliminate “the real enemy,” the automobile.

Mr. Long says, “Join me in helping reduce the number of cars in the Tahoe basin.” Are we to implement some kind of “park-and- ride” system with a huge parking lot elsewhere? That might be feasible for commuters who carry a briefcase to work, but our visitors and second homeowners tend to pack a little heavier than that. They load their cars with kids, pets, provisions, luggage, roof racks sporting goods and outdoor equipment, and frequently tow a boat or trailer behind.

Since the visitor’s dollar drives our economy, Mr. Long’s effort to reduce the number of cars in the basin would likely reduce all of our collective incomes as well. That may be of little immediate concern to Mr. Long as he has no connection to, or reliance upon, any tourism-related business; however, many of us remain acutely aware of the needs of our guests.

Given the restrictions on housing, our population growth is nil; however, second home ownership here continues to increase. Irrespective of Mr. Long’s desires, those second homeowners (and those they choose to rent their homes to) will be getting in their cars and driving here in ever greater numbers.

This is still a free country, (at least until the Supreme Court finishes shredding the Constitution) and even Mr. Long can’t keep them from doing that.

I believe we need to expand capacity; however, Mr. Long makes his position clear with the rhetorical question, “Are you willing to give up that symbolic freedom the car has so long represented?” Mr. Long, since you advocate reducing the number of cars in the basin, you should lead the way by eliminating yours. In no time at all, you and your family will be reporting back to us just how rewarding your life is without the burden of your evil automobiles.

Evan Williams

South Lake Tahoe

Face it, no one wants a roundabout in Tahoe

I have always suspected that Councilman Long lived in a different city than I do – now I think he is on a different planet.

I hope Mr. Long did not spend my tax dollars to pay for a study to determine that there is an abundance of cars in the basin. Well let’s see what the City Council has done in the past to cut down on the auto traffic: They have not supported the local airport; they have supported the downtown redevelopment, which is responsible for increased tourist traffic; they are now supporting the BID which is supposed to increase tourist visits – and their answer to the problem is a roundabout.

I quote: “Everyone agrees that the roundabout is safer, far more attractive and a real contribution to our environment.” No, Councilman Long, everyone thinks it is a dumb idea. Then he cites Washington, D.C., and Paris as cities that do a good job of handling traffic problems. Well both cities have a very nice subway system that may account for their success. Then he brings up high gas prices as a cure. We have the highest prices in the state. It’s like visiting the zoo and complaining about the animals.

You will not get the American public out of their cars. And as long as Highway 50 is in the condition it is in, there will be a traffic jam on Sunday night and every holiday weekend. Then to top it all off, TRPA is conducting phone surveys to determine the local auto driving habits. Is there anything they don’t have their hands in?

David Dewitt

South Lake Tahoe


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