South Tahoe resident input needed on traffic program at town hall (Opinion)
There is an El Dorado County town hall meeting scheduled for July 15 via Zoom to discuss the turn restrictions that were put into place on May 6.
The residents in the county in and around Meyers have put up with tourist travel through our neighborhoods, causing complete gridlock for many years now.
The county implemented three different traffic calming attempts, all of which failed. There were many public meetings and workshops, but nothing worked. Residents were trapped in their homes during many weekends. People could not get to work, or back home after work. Loved ones went without required care as people were stuck in the gridlock.
A few citizens stepped up and helped me to propose to the county to try once more, using temporal turn restrictions (only peak travel times during Sundays and Holidays). The county approved the plan in September 2019, but the pandemic prevented implementation until this year.
We conducted a few workshops of our own and people responded. Their input helped the overall design of the test. After many meetings, emails, and coordination with officials, the test was started in May.
The result has been promising. The citizens worked with the county, online map applications such as Waze and Google, and the CHP who has been very supportive. Anecdotal information shows the residents that had been impacted have their neighborhoods back. Their local roads are not de facto highways during peak tourist exodus.
We cannot claim success quite yet. While this is encouraging, the county plans to end the test in October. We need people to attend to attest to the county that this should be continued through the winter and expanded to other neighborhoods that are impacted. The only way the county will act is if the residents speak up.
Please plan to attend the meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 15. The town hall meeting will take place via Zoom. To participate, visit http://www.zoom.us and enter the following ID 951 6742 5157.
Jeffrey Spencer is a South Lake Tahoe resident.
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