Kings Beach Commercial Core update: Three-laners still fighting
A group of Kings Beach residents, still surprised by a decision against three lanes and roundabouts in Kings Beach by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency last Wednesday, are making a last-ditch effort to keep the plan alive.
The board voted on June 25 seven to six against the Commercial Core project, leaving staff to bring an alternative with four lanes and traffic lights back to the board
“As a community we’re firing off phone calls and e-mails to all the board members to try to get them to appeal,” said Dana Ash, a Kings Beach resident.
But Bruce Kranz, an agency board member and Placer County Supervisor, said he doesn’t see anything changing.
“It wasn’t just me, it was seven votes,” Kranz said. “People can ask for a reconsideration but it still takes a super-majority on the California side.”
Still, some residents are holding on to hope that the decision could be reversed, or short of that, the board would explain their decision.
“I need a reason Bruce [Kranz] led the charge against the two planning commissions, the League to Save Lake Tahoe, you know the list ” what is your reason for overthrowing 12 years of public process?” asked Theresa May Duggan, a Kings Beach resident.
Duggan said she thought some board members may not have had all the facts going into the decision.
“We need to make sure the decision is informed, and from the discussion Wednesday some of the board members were under-informed,” she said.
Kranz said his decision came from in-depth study of the environmental documents on the project.
“It is very clear to me that the four-lane option is absolutely the best decision with the least impact,” Kranz said. “What is troublesome with three lanes is we would spend upward of $50 million to bring gridlock to Kings Beach and put as many as 10,000 cars on the back streets.”
The four-lane option would include the environmental benefits of the three-lane project, include sidewalks, curbs, and gutters, and add crosswalks, all without causing the traffic issues of the three-lane alternative, Kranz said.
A straw poll at the Wednesday meeting didn’t show enough support for four lanes either, however.
“We don’t know if four lanes would pass, which leaves us with nothing,” said Carol Savary, a Kings Beach resident.
Kranz said he hopes the board will recognize that something needs to be done in Kings Beach, and move forward with four lanes.
“I hope the board will recognize the need to fix Kings Beach,” Kranz said. “I’ve asked the county to come forward with four lanes because we have to have a project.”
Tim Leslie, another board member who voted against the three-lane option, agreed, saying he hoped the board would come together to get something done for Kings Beach.
“I think waiting another year would be a terrible decision,” Leslie said.
Residents who were in favor of four lanes are also concerned about losing momentum.
“I’m worried if they don’t vote for four lanes we may not see anything for years and years,” said Jerry Dinzes, a Kings Beach resident.
“The first stated goal of the TRPA Transit Plan is focus on pedestrian and alternative transportation, and three lanes are much more aligned with that.”
” Carol Savary, Kings Beach resident
“We are looking at Kings Beach for the next 100 years ” we’re not ready to give up on Kings Beach.”
“Theresa May Duggan, Kings Beach resident
“I feel like this is a victory for residents of Kings Beach. It felt like main street was being given priority over the neighborhood, but this makes main street nicer and safer but also protects the sanctity of our neighborhood.”
” Jerry Dinzes, Kings Beach resident
For more information about the history of the Kings Beach Commercial Core planning process, go to http://www.sierrasun.com/kbcommercialcore.
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