Stateline shortcut gets review from city |

Stateline shortcut gets review from city

Sally J. Taylor

Traffic controls will return to status quo today or Wednesday following a two-weekend study of traffic patterns at the T-intersection of Park Avenue, Montreal Road and Lake Parkway.

“We are looking at the picture overall (of traffic) in the subdivision,” said Tim Oliver, the engineer for the city of South Lake Tahoe. We’ll “see if there can be anything done to get traffic off Chonocus and Montreal.”

Those residential streets are commonly used by locals as the back way around the congestion at the intersection of Pioneer Trail and U.S. Highway 50.

Residents have complained to city officials regarding the amount and speed of traffic along the route.

The weekend of Aug. 22, city officials counted traffic with the current traffic controls, including a one-way barrier and single stop sign.

Last weekend, the barrier was removed and stop signs placed in all three directions entering the intersection.

In mid-October or November, following the city’s busy construction season, traffic engineers will begin to analyze the intersection data, Oliver said.

Since Lake Parkway was created about 15 years ago as a way around Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Caesars Tahoe, an island has blocked southwest-bound traffic from that road from entering Montreal Road.

Many drivers steer around the barrier. Many more would like to see it completely and permanently eliminated, despite the complaints of the residents of the Montreal subdivision.

According to Oliver, that’s not likely to happen until the long-planned and long-shelved Lake Parkway loop road is constructed to Pioneer Trail. With $38 million needed for construction and rights-of-way purchase, that project is not likely to be revived in the foreseeable future.

The barrier is a requirement by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Environmental documents prepared for the construction of the first half of the loop road require that traffic be prevented from going onto Montreal, Oliver said.

For residents of Montreal and Chonocus, who watch traffic stream by 24 hours a day, the barrier is not enough.

Suggestions for further traffic reduction plans included installing stop signs, completely blocking roads or creating one-way streets.

“All good ideas,” Oliver said. But until officials sit down and analyze the data, they won’t know how to deal with the “big picture.”

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