Visitors have trouble making the grade
Where is Kingsbury Grade?
Residents head uphill at Love’s Chapel without a second thought, but visitors are having more difficulty finding the road since the Kingsbury Grade signs on U.S. Highway 50 were replaced with “S.R. 207” during an intersection upgrade by the Nevada Department of Transportation.
The sign is just one of the problems created by intersection improvements discussed on Tuesday by the Tahoe-Douglas Chamber of Commerce.
Of more concern was the westbound left turn signal.
Previously, left turns were allowed whenever it was safe. The new light allows left turns only with the left turn light.
“There’s a significant backup,” Steve Teshara, executive director of the Lake Tahoe Gaming Alliance, told the commerce board of directors. “Impatient drivers go through Kahle Park (to get around the backup).”
Concerned about park safety, Teshara said the Gaming Alliance has written NDOT about the situation. The chamber plans to follow suit.
NDOT spokesman Scott Magruder was not familiar with the signal light issue.
He did know about the road sign.
“We’ve been getting calls too,” he said.
“On most highway signs, you just see ‘state route,'” he said of the reason behind the use of the state designation rather than the local street name.
Whatever the reason, a lot of people looking at maps are lost.
“We’ve had quite a few calls from people about the fact they’re looking for Kingsbury,” Ridge Tahoe operator Brenda Davis said.
The Ridge recently began including the state route designation in its literature.
The sign confusion also hurts businesses along the road.
“It’s killing us,” said Jill Wall, owner of Jill’s Consignment Boutique. “It’s not just my shop. People get in their cars and then can’t find us.”
Wall has received numerous calls from people trying to find businesses on Kingsbury Grade. Others just don’t bother, and business is down.
According to Magruder, NDOT plans to make changes to the sign but officials have not determined just what needs to be done or when it will be accomplished.
Signs reading Kingsbury Grade could replace those of State Route 207 on the light post. Or those signs may remain and a Kingsbury sign may be added on the side of the road.
“We’re still working it out with Douglas County,” Magruder said.
What may or may not happen regarding the back up at the left turn light remains unknown.
Magruder said the signal light could be set up with a “protective permissive signal” that allows turns on a green arrow or green light.
“That may be something we need to look at also,” he said.
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