Meeting focuses on Alder Creek/89 safety |

Meeting focuses on Alder Creek/89 safety

Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunThe Alder Creek Road and Highway 89 intersection has been the scene of several horrific traffic accidents. A community safety meeting tonight will address improving traffic controls at the intersection.

The Town of Truckee and Caltrans are looking for public comment about the dangers of car crashes at the intersection of Alder Creek Road and Highway 89 north ” and about possible solutions.

The intersection has been the focus of regular public comment at Truckee Town Council and planning commission meetings, sparked most recently by a fatal accident in July when a two-vehicle accident claimed the life of 21-year-old Truckee resident Kyle Van Arsdale.

In response to requests that it address the problem, Caltrans has taken some preliminary steps in clearing vegetation for a better line of sight and changing some of the road markings, but the Town of Truckee, Caltrans, California Highway Patrol, and Truckee Police will meet tonight to discuss other potential solutions.

“We are hoping to get feedback on what we can do to improve safety,” said town senior engineer Todd Landry.

He said Caltrans plans to present the history of the intersection and the types of accidents that have occurred there, while town staff has prepared a list of options for the intersection.

In a phone interview, Caltrans spokesman Mark Dinger said current plans include further tree cutting, a larger intersection sign, and flashing amber lights to alert drivers to the coming crossroad on Highway 89.

Longer-term solutions may include reconfiguring the intersection, Landry said.

“We’ve come up with a dozen or so possible options, from doing nothing to building a roundabout, and we want to go through the pros and cons,” Landry said. “At the end of the night we want to narrow it down to the best one or two options.”

Some of the options range from constructing a roundabout or putting in stop signs, to closing the intersection, but each alternative comes with its own problems, Landry said.

“The hill may be too steep in the winter for a roundabout, and closing the intersection would have problems of its own for Rainbow,” Landry said.

The town and Caltrans will also be looking for suggested solutions from the public they may not have thought of, Landry said. Whatever solution is chosen, Dinger said Caltrans would expedite the work because it’s a safety project.

“We don’t have a lengthy accident history, but certainly the recent accident is serious enough that we need to take a look,” Dinger said. “It all depends on what is decided on, but work could begin in 18 months, maybe sooner.”

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