Tahoe turn restriction program makes impact over holiday weekend

Laney Griffo
CHP enforcing the turn restrictions on Monday at Sawmill road.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The turn restrictions pilot program faced its first big traffic event over the Memorial Day weekend.

Officers wrote 22 citations over the weekend; eight citations at Sawmill Road and 14 citations at North Upper Truckee.

Loehr reported that four violators had local addresses, two were non-residences, five frequent visitors and four tourists.

“Memorial Day weekend was nicer than expected,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Ruth Loehr.

Signs were posted along U.S. Highway 50 and on Sawmill and N. Upper Truckee roads, informing drivers of the turn restrictions.

“There were a lot of different opinions on the signs,” Loehr said. “Many locals are pleased with the progress, others are just upset they cannot turn right.”

El Dorado County also asked wayfinding apps not to redirect drivers onto the side streets. Some apps have gotten on board but not all.

Loehr said of the citations, “four related their TomTom or Garmin told them to go this way.”

Local resident Jeffrey Spencer also informed the Tribune that Google was also continuing to direct drivers through the neighborhoods, however, Waze did follow the turn restrictions.

Despite some of the apps continuing to direct drivers onto N. Upper Truckee, Spencer said he saw a positive impact on traffic.

“It was a definite improvement,” said Spencer, who went out to monitor the traffic over the weekend.

Loehr agreed that the turn restrictions are helping.

“Overall, it seems to be keeping the roads clearer,” Loehr said.

The pilot program will continue through late October and if is successful, it will continue through the winter.

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