Solution close for Gardner Street problems |

Solution close for Gardner Street problems

A resolution to student parking and loitering problems on Gardner Street may be close at hand.

Because of its proximity to South Tahoe High School, Gardner Street has become a hang out for many students who cannot, or do not leave campus during lunchtime.

Numerous residents have complained of noise, litter, smoking, speeding and cars parked along the side of the road in front of their homes.

Residents met with Lake Tahoe Unified School District and city officials last week to brainstorm potential solutions.

“I was impressed by the (cooperation) of the parties involved,” said Steve Morales, LTUSD facilities director. “I think with some education of the students and some efforts from the district, we can resolve the problem for the residents.”

Dr. Diane Scheerhorn, district superintendent, said new smoking and noise rules will be enforced. There will also be added patrol and surveillance on Gardner Street and more trash cans placed throughout the area.

South Lake Tahoe City Manager Dave Childs said speed regulations are being considered, as well.

“We’re looking into declaring that area a school zone, so we can have a slower speed limit,” he said. “I’ll be talking to our engineering department to see what is involved in doing that. But I thought we had a very good conversation with the (Gardner Street residents) and I think they were reasonable in their requests. I think the students, they’re great young people. They just need to understand that there are people who live there. They need to respect that.”

Susie Rust, who lives on Gardner Street, said she was pleased with the outcome of last week’s meeting.

“I was really impressed and it is helping already,” Rust said Friday, in reference to efforts being made by the city and district. “City people are out here right now, raking and cleaning up and the garbage company just dropped a huge dumpster off. We’re so pleased. It’s been a real team effort. The meeting went well. Everybody was more than agreeable.”

Rust’s neighbor Rebecca Klitsch said parking continues to be problematic, but loitering and littering has decreased.

“The parking is still kind of a nightmare, but the kids aren’t hanging out here as much now,” she said. “(STHS Assistant Principal) Jack Stafford and (School Resource Officer) Scott Heng were out here yesterday. The litter isn’t as bad.”

According to Morales, Stafford is dedicated to correcting the situation.

“Jack’s plan is to bring ROTC kids in to do the initial clean up and then staff at the high school will maintain the area,” he said.

Another meeting is scheduled for Oct. 18 at 4:15 p.m. at the District Office at 1021 Al Tahoe Blvd.

“This is a two week trial period to test our strategies,” Scheerhorn said. “We’ll meet again Oct. 18. I really feel we are all trying to work together to solve this issue.”

Jack Stafford was not available Friday for comment. He recently said he will continue to focus his efforts on the Gardner Street plight.

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