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Author Topic: US 50 South Lake Tahoe Proposed Realignment  (Read 3645 times)

andy3175

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US 50 South Lake Tahoe Proposed Realignment
« on: June 22, 2013, 03:47:17 PM »

From http://www.mynews4.com/news/local/story/Old-homes-in-way-of-new-road-plans-at-South-Tahoe/CgmvYIgz60GIxxB52VxRqQ.cspx:

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The plan by the Tahoe Transportation District would turn a 1.1-mile section of the current highway, from Pioneer Trail in California to Lake Parkway in Nevada, into a local "main street."

The realignment would allow for environmentally sustainable landscaping, a pedestrian-friendly promenade, a bicycle trail and the kind of transit options local, state and regional officials and business leaders have been clamoring for in the casino corridor for decades.

The problem is that the planned "loop road" replacing the highway would have to be built through at least one neighborhood.

That would mean, depending on which alignment is eventually chosen, that the brick-lined cabin Miller's grandfather bought in 1952 could be flattened along with dozens of other homes and businesses in the woodsy community.

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"Highway 50 now bifurcates the whole town and even cuts off access to the lake. It is an impediment to other modes of transportation, especially bicycle and pedestrian traffic, which cannot move through the area," said Alfred Knotts, the project manager for the district. "Seventy percent of the traffic on Highway 50 through the corridor is through traffic, including a lot of freight traffic. The goal of the project is to create a local street for visitors and provide more pedestrian and bicycle access."

It is not a new idea. A loop road around the south shore casinos was first proposed around 1980, but it never got the support it needed. It had been languishing on the back burner for two decades until 2009 when the transportation district decided to look at it again. The district has outlined four realignment alternatives, two of which would place Highway 50 on a local road called Lake Parkway. Another option would put only westbound traffic on Lake Parkway and make the existing highway one-way heading east. The fourth option would leave Highway 50 alone and build an elevated promenade, or skywalk, overhead.

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The South Shore region of Lake Tahoe is, in many respects, still suffering from the effects of massive home and commercial construction from the 1950s through the 1970s. About 75 percent of Tahoe marshlands and 50 percent of the meadow habitat was altered during the building boom. The buildings, asphalt, automobile pollution and lack of proper drainage were blamed by environmentalists for sending pollutants flowing into the once-pristine lake, causing algae buildup and drastically reducing water clarity over the past 40 years.

More than 50 public and private organizations, led by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Tahoe Conservancy, have joined forces over the past decade to address the problem, creating the Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program.

Over the past 15 years, more than $1 billion has been spent on 266 restoration projects around the lake, from new roads and drainage to runoff basins.

More than 3,000 acres of private property have been purchased for open space and public use, 739 acres of wetlands have been restored, 374 acres of denuded land have been re-vegetated, and public pathways and mass transportation have been improved, according to regional planning officials.

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The alternatives must still go through an environmental review, which is expected to take at least 16 months, before a preferred alternative can be chosen. Final approval by the transportation district, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Federal Highway Administration is not expected for another two or three years.

Regards,
Andy
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 01:29:17 AM by andy3175 »
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Regards,
Andy

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andy3175

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Re: US 50 South Lake Tahoe Proposed Realignment
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2016, 01:37:33 AM »

As an update, it appears this project remains in environmental review based on the official project page, with the draft environmental document coming out in the first quarter of 2016 according to the project webpage: http://www.tahoetransportation.org/us50. A community open house was held on January 26. Funding remains an obstacle to any construction project. The alternatives currently are described as follows:

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Alternative A - No Build

Alternative B - Triangle Alternative
New four-lane alignment for US 50, roundabout at Lake Pkwy. intersection. Existing US 50 from Park Lane to Lake Pkwy. reduced to two lanes with bike lanes and sidewalks.

Alternative C - Triangle One-Way Alternative
Two one-way, two-lane alignments, eastbound on existing US 50 from Pioneer Trail to Lake Pkwy., westbound from existing Lake Pkwy. onto Montreal Rd. Bike lanes and sidewalks.

Alternative D - Project Study Report  Alt. 2
Route variations for Triangle Alternative US 50 realignment, with or without roundabout, with signalized intersections at Heavenly Village Way and Harrah’s Rd.

Alternative E - Skywalk Alternative
a.k.a. the Elevated Pedestrian Mall, a concrete bridge over the entire width and length of existing US 50 from Stateline Ave. to the eastern end of Montbleu Resort.

An older page had suggested the environmental document would be finalized by July 2015, but obviously that did not happen: http://tahoetransportation.org/current-capital-projects/us50-south-shore-community-revitalization-project

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Existing US 50 within the project area is approximately 1.1 miles long and stretches from Pioneer Trail in California to Lake Parkway in Nevada. The majority of the proposed alternatives include the reclassification of the existing US Highway 50 from a federal highway to a local street along its present route. US 50 would be realigned outside of the commercial core. This would allow for local area control and the development of a "main street" district. The project proposes to construct the infrastructure necessary to facilitate the development of main street district within the public right of way. The project would address traffic and allow for complete street improvements to provide the public with alternatives to driving.
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Regards,
Andy

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Quillz

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Re: US 50 South Lake Tahoe Proposed Realignment
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2016, 11:21:20 AM »

Is there a map somewhere showing each realignment? The present alignment, if moved, would just be turned over to local control and reduced in length to allow parkland?
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roadfro

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Re: US 50 South Lake Tahoe Proposed Realignment
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2016, 04:41:03 PM »

Is there a map somewhere showing each realignment? The present alignment, if moved, would just be turned over to local control and reduced in length to allow parkland?

The site Andy linked to provides PDF documents of the four options.

I think I like the Triangle alternatives best.
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coatimundi

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Re: US 50 South Lake Tahoe Proposed Realignment
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2016, 11:39:59 AM »

The link to the article is dead. All proposals are mapped here, in the "Design" section.
I went looking for this and thought this wasn't it at first, because it's billed as a "revitalization project". Obviously the highway realignment is just one facet, but it seems like they're trying to avoid calling it what it is.
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gonealookin

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Re: US 50 South Lake Tahoe Proposed Realignment
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2016, 03:29:21 PM »

I live just over a mile from the project area and have been following developments for several years.  Here's a current article from the local paper as to status of the project.

Much of the "revitalization" in the sense of new buildings has already happened or is currently under construction, particularly in the large block on the lakeward side of US 50 across Stateline Avenue from Harvey's.  Some years ago, the existing commercial area on that block was completely bulldozed in anticipation of construction of a new hotel/convention center complex.  However, the developer imploded financially during the Great Recession and the empty property, which became known locally as "The Hole", was vacant for years.  There wasn't even an open pedestrian route along that side of US 50, just fencing right up to the traffic lane.  With the recovery, in the last 1-1/2 years or so, a tourist-oriented shopping development has been built on part of The Hole and the rest will be filled with an upscale condominium development currently under construction.

That stretch of US 50 is still a terribly congested major thoroughfare though, especially on winter weekends or pretty much every day during the summer.  By diverting vehicular traffic off this stretch of road and turning it into a sort of downtown Main Street with much wider sidewalks and landscaping the new and existing businesses would become much more appealing destinations for pedestrians.  As someone who drives through the existing mess several times a week I like the "Triangle Alternative" that basically creates a new 4-lane US 50 around the back (mountain-ward) side of the Raley's center, Heavenly Village, Harrah's and Montbleu.  But it does wipe out a lot of lower-end housing, and we're already way short of housing for the service employees at the hotel/casinos.
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coatimundi

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Re: US 50 South Lake Tahoe Proposed Realignment
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2016, 10:44:48 AM »

a tourist-oriented shopping development has been built on part of The Hole and the rest will be filled with an upscale condominium development currently under construction.

Certainly not a lot of that in Tahoe, so it'll be a welcome sight.  ;-)
US 50 definitely does need to be bypassed on that corridor. When I drove through last year at about this time (no snow, so no traffic), I ended up on Pioneer Trail. thinking it would be a way to bypass things, but I'm sure none of the many residents back there want anyone else doing the same thing. So I would think those residents would be the most concerned about the Triangle Alternative since that more or less encourages that route. But I like the idea of going behind the casinos. It's kind of like what they did with Scottsdale Road/Goldwater in Old Town Scottsdale. That seems to funnel traffic pretty well.
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gonealookin

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Re: US 50 South Lake Tahoe Proposed Realignment
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2016, 09:24:14 PM »

I go to Arizona for Cactus League baseball every couple years, and the comparison of Old Town Scottsdale to what we'd like to do here at Tahoe is pretty much spot-on.
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gonealookin

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Re: US 50 South Lake Tahoe Proposed Realignment
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2018, 05:49:37 PM »

I know this is an ancient thread but that is evidence of how much arguing and indecision there has been about this project.  The EIS is being voted on in the next couple weeks and the serious planning should start in early 2019.  The preferred alternative is "Altermative B", the four-lane roadway running behind the Raley's Village Center, the Heavenly Village tourist trap, Harrah's and Montbleu; here's a map:

http://tahoetransportation.org/images/assets/Hwy50/Alternative-B--Proposed-Aerial.pdf

The description from the EIS:

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The realigned US 50 would have four 11-foot wide travel lanes, 5-foot wide shoulders, and turn pockets at major intersections and driveways. New signalized intersections along the realigned US 50 would be located at Heavenly Village Way and the driveway entrance to Harrah’s. The existing right-of-way of the segment of US 50 between Pioneer Trail and Lake Parkway—the new “Main Street”—would be relinquished to the City of South Lake Tahoe in California, and Douglas County in Nevada. Realigned US 50 would become Caltrans and NDOT right-of-way.

Between Park Avenue and Lake Parkway, the new “Main Street” would be reduced to one travel lane in each direction, with landscaped medians, and left-turn pockets at major intersections and driveways. Bicycle lanes and sidewalks would be added and/or upgraded throughout the project site. These changes would be characteristic of complete streets features intended to be implemented with the project. A pedestrian bridge would be constructed over realigned US 50 approximately 250 feet south of the proposed new intersection at the Harrah’s entrance driveway near the California/Nevada state line; the pedestrian bridge would connect Van Sickle Bi-State Park to the tourist core.

Full story in the local media:

http://southtahoenow.com/story/11/01/2018/overwhelming-support-south-shore-community-revitalization-project-trpa-meeting

And the Tahoe Transportation District page on the project:

http://tahoetransportation.org/us50

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: US 50 South Lake Tahoe Proposed Realignment
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2018, 09:42:45 PM »

I know this is an ancient thread but that is evidence of how much arguing and indecision there has been about this project.  The EIS is being voted on in the next couple weeks and the serious planning should start in early 2019.  The preferred alternative is "Altermative B", the four-lane roadway running behind the Raley's Village Center, the Heavenly Village tourist trap, Harrah's and Montbleu; here's a map:

http://tahoetransportation.org/images/assets/Hwy50/Alternative-B--Proposed-Aerial.pdf

The description from the EIS:

Quote
The realigned US 50 would have four 11-foot wide travel lanes, 5-foot wide shoulders, and turn pockets at major intersections and driveways. New signalized intersections along the realigned US 50 would be located at Heavenly Village Way and the driveway entrance to Harrah’s. The existing right-of-way of the segment of US 50 between Pioneer Trail and Lake Parkway—the new “Main Street”—would be relinquished to the City of South Lake Tahoe in California, and Douglas County in Nevada. Realigned US 50 would become Caltrans and NDOT right-of-way.

Between Park Avenue and Lake Parkway, the new “Main Street” would be reduced to one travel lane in each direction, with landscaped medians, and left-turn pockets at major intersections and driveways. Bicycle lanes and sidewalks would be added and/or upgraded throughout the project site. These changes would be characteristic of complete streets features intended to be implemented with the project. A pedestrian bridge would be constructed over realigned US 50 approximately 250 feet south of the proposed new intersection at the Harrah’s entrance driveway near the California/Nevada state line; the pedestrian bridge would connect Van Sickle Bi-State Park to the tourist core.

Full story in the local media:

http://southtahoenow.com/story/11/01/2018/overwhelming-support-south-shore-community-revitalization-project-trpa-meeting

And the Tahoe Transportation District page on the project:

http://tahoetransportation.org/us50

I did some running this past month through the South Lake Tahoe/Stateline Project area to get a better idea about all the fuss regarding realignment of US 50.  From the perspective of a pedestrian it seemed like most of the problems on US 50 could be solved with a couple we’ll placed pedestrian bridges, especially on the Nevada side.  But to that end, there didn't seem to be anything too dangerous for someone on foot nor was traffic all that obstructed.  Granted, I wasn't visiting during the busy part of the year but even in the summer I've made though South Lake Tahoe/Stateline with relatively little trouble...maybe its just that I have an expectation of tourist traffic?

Took these photos heading back west from the NV 207 junction through Stateline back into California to convey my thoughts above:

IMG_1933 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_1934 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Below would be what I would consider an ideal location for a pedestrian bridge over the existing US 50 at the Nevada/California state line:

IMG_1935 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Now the project that really caught my eye is that new bike and pedestrian grade along NV 28 between Incline Village and Sand Harbor, talk about a long overdue and welcome addition.  Personally I'd like to see a bike lane someone on CA 89 from US 50 in South Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay State Park but the geography likely limits the possibility of that ever happening.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 09:57:07 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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