Traffic concerns circle college campus | SierraSun.com

Traffic concerns circle college campus

Sierra Countis
Sierra Sun

Negotiations are underway on the draft environmental impact report for the Sierra College Truckee campus project located on McIver Hill.

The Town of Truckee has responded to the college’s environmental report with concerns about student traffic congestion near Deerfield Drive and Highway 89 south.

Truckee Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said the access proposed by Sierra College would have “a detrimental impact on traffic” because students would have to make U-turns from Highway 89 south to get to the college campus entrance and add vehicle congestion to the Highway 89 south/Interstate 80 roundabouts the town just spent $4 million to construct.

The best alternative to help lighten the traffic impact would be to replace the Deerfield Drive stoplight with another roundabout, Lashbrook said.

The college’s proposed access plan, which looks like it will be across the street from the Shell gas station, is the “most cost-effective way” to access the campus, said Paul DiSario, Sierra College interim director of facilities development. He said the plan is the best way to make use of the $35 million bond measure approved by voters in November 2004, while leaving money for the actual construction of the campus.

To construct another roundabout would also entail rebuilding the bridge across Donner Creek as well as more road work, DiSario said.

Once the campus is open, there will only be school traffic during the week, and the peak traffic at the Deerfield Drive intersection is in the winter months on the weekends, he said.

DiSario said Sierra College is trying to be “good neighbors” and is working with the town in order to get the details worked out.

The Truckee Town Council and Sierra College officials will discuss the college campus at its meeting Thursday at 6 p.m. at Truckee Town Hall. DiSario said the college will present to the council the progress of the Truckee campus and the changes Sierra College has made thus far.

A public hearing will take place on June 21 at town hall to talk about the environmental impact report. DiSario said he and Doug Smith, Sierra College vice president, will be on hand to answer questions and take comments from the public.