The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency color police are at it again and this time they have zeroed in on the California Department of Transportation. The fact that TRPA bullied Caltrans into a “compromise” by threatening to sue over the color of guardrails is no compromise at all. The truth of the matter is that Caltrans simply capitulated to TRPA demands. TRPA also managed to squeeze Caltrans for an additional $750,000 to study the issue. A spokesperson for TRPA touts Caltrans’ surrender as a “collaborative solution for Lake Tahoe.” The result of such “collaboration” reaffirms that TRPA is accountable to no one, and has no sense of cost-benefit analysis or fiscal restraint. One government agency suing another is an unreserved waste of taxpayers’ money. TRPA’s willingness to sue Caltrans over the color of guardrails is complete idiocy.Caltrans officials recently informed the City of South Lake Tahoe and the South Shore Transportation Management Association that personnel cuts and lack of equipment prohibited Caltrans from maintaining Mormon Emigrant Trail should Highway 50 close due to a mud slides. I suggest redirecting the $750,000 for TRPA’s pet guardrail color study to more important endeavors like maintaining access to the south shore. Tim LeslieAssemblyman, Fourth District Manger raiderTo the person or persons who have taken the baby Jesus from our manger scene on Huntsmans Leap. First of all, we would like to tell you it shines much brighter with a 40-watt bulb than with the recommended 20-watt bulb. This has never been a problem in the past but we thought we should warn you for safety reasons, since it is a 40-watt bulb that is in it now.Secondly, we must point out the unequivocal fact that it is just a “plastic” Jesus. And although we have enjoyed seeing its little light-up arms reaching toward Heaven in our yard at night it will be of no benefit to your eternal soul. It is for this reason that we are writing to you.We would like to introduce you to the “real” Jesus who is the light of the world and the reason we celebrate this Christmas season. Chapter 3, verse 16, in the book of John, in the Bible says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” And 1Chronicles, chapter 28, verse 9 says: “For the Lord searches all hearts and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him.”When we first came home and realized the baby Jesus was gone from our manger scene we we’re a little upset, but then we realized whoever you are, you are obviously seeking Jesus. Our plastic Jesus will not be of much help to you, but in your searching, we pray you discover the “real” Jesus. He will change your life, and like the song “Away In A Manger” so beautifully declares, “Fit you for Heaven to live with Him there.”The Deiro FamilyTruckee ‘Round and ’roundRegarding the proposed I-80 roundabouts I must say I really learned to appreciate roundabouts on a business trip to England, where they control about 90 percent of intersections. For instance, unlike traffic signals and four-way stop signs there’s no pointless stopping when there’s no cross traffic in sight and the risk of being T-boned is reduced.Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate those advantages until after I purchased an English driving manual to figure out why all those supposedly polite Brits were shaking their fists at me as I lumbered ’round and ’round.It seems roundabout navigation protocols, especially in multi-lane roundabouts, feature some fine points completely unknown to American drivers and which California highway authorities are making no effort to communicate through, say, TV driver education spots. For instance, every week I’ve been frustrated following drivers through the existing circle who don’t realize they have the right of way and slam on the brakes when another vehicle pulls up to the yield signs on the entrance roads. You’re supposed to cut to the inside lane if you’re going further round but stay to the outside if you’re taking one of the first exits. You’re also supposed to use turn signals to indicate those intentions.Finally, it is the consensus of online English bloggers that roundabouts are better than signs and signals in low-volume situations but worse when traffic volumes get high. When I-80 traffic backs up due to chain controls/ag inspections, I suspect drivers will be more likely to “block the circle” than they would be to “block the box” in a signal-controlled intersection.In short, it might be nice to see a little statewide or nationwide driver ed before springing a wholly unfamiliar traffic control paradigm on clueless American drivers.John ReeceTruckee
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