POLLOCK PINES -- Traffic problems in South Lake Tahoe have gotten so bad that now neighbors are demanding action. Friday night, many of them met in Meyers to ask the county to do more to alleviate congestion on busy tourism weekends.
This is Super Bowl weekend so, there’s going to be a lot of people from the valley heading up to Tahoe for skiing and gambling.
“When residents can’t get home to their children, get home from work, just get back from the store that’s critical,” expressed Jeff Spencer, a Christmas Valley resident.
Spencer organized Friday’s meeting.
He says over the last few years the number of tourists on the roads around Lake Tahoe have been increasing to the point where locals can’t go anywhere.
“We went to church on a Sunday, this was after New Year’s, took us eight hours to get home nine miles,” Spencer said.
He says often, it’s traffic avoidance apps like Waze that put too many people on residential roads.
“We’ve even seen semis on some of our residential streets. It is crazy,” Spencer said.
Spencer says if there’s ever a wildfire, the situation could quickly turn deadly.
“You know if you had an event like Paradise where you have restrictive capacity in your roadways it’s going to be a terrible disaster,” he said. “So, I’m hoping at tonight’s meeting that we can get the emergency services together and to talk with people at the state transportation committees and fix this problem.”
A problem he feels state and county officials haven’t done enough to solve.
“We’re tired of seeing no action. We’ve asked the county to do things, we’ve asked the state to do things and there really hasn’t been any movement,” said Spencer.
Another big complaint residents have is often when there is gridlock on Highway 50, tourists will leave their cars and go to the bathroom, sometimes in front yards.
It’s a situation residents would like to see change.