Changing lanes: Crowd talks Kings Beach traffic at fundraiser

Annie Flanzraich
Sierra Sun

KINGS BEACH ” Sarah Toole remembers being 3 years old and sitting in one of the first meetings about how to revitalize the Kings Beach commerical core.

After moving to different cities and coming back to the area 17 years later, she became part of the conversation again.

Attendees at a fundraiser Tuesday night organized by the Kings Beach Citizen Alliance could listen to Toole as she made light of the decades-long debate.

“Let’s just split the difference,” she told the crowd. “We’ll have 3.5 lanes, for families with 2.4 kids who can drive their 1.2 cars.”

With her humor, Toole also brough an opinion about the proposed changes to Highway 28.

“I like it the way it is right now,” she said. “I just wish people would slow down.”

The money collected at the fundraiser was meant to fund computer simulations of the four- and three-lane alternatives proposed for the road changes.

In September 2008 the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the three-lane, roundabout alternative for traffic on the highway through Kings Beach’s commercial core.

This came after the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Governing Board voted against the three-lane alternative in June 2008 and voted to reconsider its denial in July 2008.

A month after Placer County approved the three-lane alternative, the Kings Beach Business and Citizens Alliance filed a lawsuit that claimed the Board of Supervisors approved an environmental impact report that did not “adequately analyze or mitigate its numerous environmental impacts. Including impacts to air quality, traffic, noise, public safety and cumulative impacts.”

Money raised from the Tuesday night event was not meant to go toward the lawsuit, Citizen Alliance fundraising chairwoman Meera Beser said. If a simulation is not needed, the money will be invested into the Kings Beach community.

In between the comedy routines, musical acts and buffet of foods, attendees shared their opinions about the different alternatives.

“I’m very worried about the plans to narrow the road,” said Jean Solberg, a North Shore resident and planner. “To have less traffic flow is going to be ruination. When you slow down the traffic people will go through the residential areas.”

Other attendees said they came to support a new simulation.

“I’m here to get this process going,” said Bob Salz, a Tahoe Vista resident. “I figure if they get the funds together and get the information out there, people can make up their minds.

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