Persistence paying off in Tahoe City
Caltrans recently provided Tahoe City with safer streets ” a pedestrian signal and a new crosswalk ” thanks in part to the persistence of three local residents.
The signal debuted at the Tahoe City wye last month, and Caltrans painted a crosswalk Wednesday in the middle of the commercial core on Highway 28.
“It’s for convenience, it’s for safety,” said Executive Director Jan Colyer of the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association. “It’s the little things, but it takes a lot of work.”
Both projects were installed for safety reasons, Caltrans officials said, but not because of any past incidents.
“Especially Fanny Bridge, there are so many tourists there it makes it easier to cross,” Caltrans spokeswoman Cassandra Pitts said of the newly installed signal.
Representing three different agencies ” Tahoe City Downtown Association, The Cobblestone and Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association ” three local women joined forces to bring the crosswalk back to town after several years of watching pedestrians struggle to cross between Commons Beach and The Cobblestone shopping area.
“I was one of those people who had to take my life in my hands and wait to cross the street,” said Trudi Lee, a Prudential real estate agent who is a member of Tahoe City Downtown Association.
In the last several years, Tahoe City has had just two crosswalks on opposite ends of commercial row, and added the third last week to provide pedestrians with a safer midtown crossing.
“The entrance down to the beach is so inviting; yet it was so ridiculous there was no crosswalk. So I just hammered Caltrans a little bit, that’s all,” said Lee. “Here’s the most important spot in town to go to the beach, and there’s no crosswalk.”
Since the downtown association and Tahoe City Public Utility District have worked hard to make Commons Beach a destination for residents and tourists alike, the two groups have lobbied for a crosswalk connecting the two sides of the busy highway.
But it wasn’t until multiple agencies made the push that Tahoe City got results.
“We have asked numerous times [for the crosswalk], because that’s where we put the entrance to Commons Beach,” said utility district Assistant General Manager Cindy Gustafson.
And fortunately, Caltrans painted the walkway just in time for another busy summer season.
Not just a matter of safety and convenience, the new Tahoe City crosswalk is expected to bolster business in the center of town, its sponsors said.
“Don’t you think it will make a big impact for business? They come from either directions and support business in town,” said manager Monica Grigoleit of The Cobblestone.
While the crosswalk seems like a minor detail, it’s been in the works for over a year and required the continuing effort of the three women.
“I think our crosswalk in the middle of town is here to stay now,” Lee said.
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