Kings Beach needs answers
January 4, 2007
I have two questions. First, can anyone tell me why four lanes of roadway traverse Kings Beach? It is a two-lane road at the other far end of Tahoe Vista, turning into a somewhat confusing single lane going one direction and two lanes the other, with a left-turn lane in between. Then, it turns into four lanes as you enter Kings Beach.
Highway 267 is two lanes all the way from Interstate 80, and turns back into two lanes at the end of Kings Beach as you start up the hill into Nevada. The reason I ask is that my business is at the end closest to Nevada across from Fox Street, and I have prime real estate for watching numerous rear-end collisions and the misfortune of seeing the last three pedestrian accidents.
All I can see the four lanes are good for is to allow motorists to floor it from the stoplight at Coon Street in order to get around as many slower cars as possible before hitting the hill where it turns into two lanes again.
And, if there’s a car stopping in front of them for whatever reason, they will veer into the other lane and blindly keep on going. So, please tell me what Kings Beach’s four lanes are good for other than to provide an accident waiting to happen?
Two lanes would slow all the traffic, keeping drivers more aware of what’s in front of them. A left-turn lane will get cars out of the way and provide a safer center lane for pedestrians ” where they might be visible ” before entering the oncoming lane, and it will prevent motorists from veering into another lane and hitting pedestrians blocked from view by the car in front of them.
I guess the real question the community has to ask itself is whether we make our town foot-traffic friendly, or “motorist-in-a-hurry” friendly.
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My other question is: In what century would you like any roadwork done in town? It’s already been 12 years. And, every summer the issue of roundabouts, congestion, etc., is brought up with nothing decided upon. It is my feeling the planning meetings need to be held in January or February instead of mid-summer. If the people attending the meetings had to walk through the ice-puddles paralleling our streets, I’m sure decisions would start getting made.
I’m sorry to say it’s my personal belief the issue of roundabouts and every other obstacle put forward to avoid agreeing on a curb and sidewalk plan are being made by people that only visit here in the summer, and don’t want their “quaint” little town changed in any way. It will be interesting to see what those people do when they have to drive to Reno to get any services.
Does anyone else notice that businesses are going under much faster than new ones are being introduced? The bottom line for businesses to thrive in this tourist-driven, mono-economy is that the town must become winter-friendly. No one will survive on three to four months of summer tourism alone. As it is, the massive increase in building projects happening in Truckee, the village at Northstar, and the Village at Squaw Valley USA are making it extremely difficult for businesses on the North shore to compete. We have to give people a reason to leave the ski areas, maybe put on their chains, deal with the chain control backups and come visit us.
Steven B. McCollough is a Kings Beach resident.