Stateline, Nevada — A road safety audit that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released this week for U.S. Highway 50 in Meyers, California documents safety concerns for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians that agencies are now working together and with the public to improve through the Meyers Corridor Project.
FHWA, Caltrans, El Dorado County, California Highway Patrol, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and Meyers Community Foundation helped organize and complete the road safety audit in February. Road safety audits are formal examinations of safety issues affecting all road users and are prepared according to federal guidelines.
“Residents of Meyers and their children deserve to be able to safely cross and walk and bike along Highway 50,” said David Reichel, a board member of the Meyers Community Foundation. “It was encouraging to see representatives from nearly every relevant agency closely examine Highway 50 as it currently exists and discuss options for making it work better for the Meyers community.”
The road safety audit examined approximately 1.3 miles of U.S. Highway 50 between the intersections of North Upper Truckee and Pioneer Trail, a stretch of road that sees about two million drivers per year. In particular, the audit looked at:
- Existing infrastructure conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists;
- Adequacy of pedestrian crossings;
- Safety of chain installation areas;
- Local access and challenges during peak traffic periods;
- Opportunities to better use extensive public right-of-way in the area;
- Impacts of the California agricultural inspection station;
- And potential improvements to enhance safety for all roadway users, accommodate transit service, and improve pedestrian and bicycle connectivity.
Highway 50 must serve as both a state highway and as a main street for the Meyers community. The road must continue to function during major snow events and, as one of only three California entrances to the Tahoe Basin, must be able to handle significant traffic loads during holidays and weekends while also serving local residents, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
With the findings of this road safety audit and funding from an On Our Way grant from TRPA, El Dorado County and Caltrans are working to identify possible improvements for U.S. Highway 50 in Meyers, such as roundabouts and new pedestrian and bicyclist crossings. Their goal is to prepare and submit a grant application for project funding to the California Active Transportation Program.
“El Dorado County is grateful for the collaboration of FHWA, Caltrans, California Highway Patrol, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, and the public to produce these products and is hopeful that our Active Transportation Program application is successful so we can deliver much needed safety and access improvements in Meyers,” said Brendan Ferry, a long range planner for El Dorado County.
El Dorado County and Caltrans collected public input on possible transportation improvements this past weekend, with informational booths at Century 21, Lira’s, and Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School in Meyers and at the Earth Day celebration in South Lake Tahoe.
The full road safety audit and more information about possible transportation improvements for the Meyers Corridor Project are available at www.tahoempo.org/OnOurWay. People can submit comments to Brendan Ferry, lead planner on the project for El Dorado County, at Brendan.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, contact Tom Lotshaw, Public Information Officer, at 775-589-5278.