Opinion: Matter of time before Tahoe City Traffic Control kills a pedestrian
February 24, 2015
The traffic control for Tahoe City that is set out on weekends and busy holidays, while beneficial, creates a dangerous situation. Many drivers do not understand what is happening, so they stay in what would naturally be their lane.
The drivers that do understand how the new layout works treat the new center lane like an express lane. I have watched countless times as people speed through town at well over the speed limit while taking advantage of this.
Over the Presidents Day weekend, we watched an SUV blazing through town come within inches of killing a family of six in the crosswalk in front of the Cobblestone Center.
Traffic in the curbside lane in both directions had stopped to let them cross, but the SUV driver didn't see them until it was almost too late. Not more than 10 minutes later, we watched the same exact scenario play out in the crosswalk at Grove Street.
Where is the oversight to this system? Where is the CHP? When we first began doing traffic control, there were multiple people in reflective uniforms directing traffic and evening out the load into two lanes. This kept speeds down by balancing the traffic into two lanes.
Now it seems the contractor hired to do this only provides people to set out, maintain, and remove the cones.
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We have a system in place that is designed to champion convenience over safety, and the day will come when someone is killed in a crosswalk because of this. It's time to reexamine how the system works and put a plan in place that keeps traffic moving but keeps it calm as well.
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