South Lake Tahoe, CA- City Council today decided that an alternate route for the US 50 South Shore Community Revitalization project works better for the City.
The project, commonly referred to as the “Loop Road Project,” has been debated in the community for almost 40 years.
“This discussion has gone on for so long and it’s time to make it work for our community,” said Mayor Tamara Wallace, “This project shouldn’t be about tearing down neighborhoods or taking people’s homes. It should be about lifting people up and that was what today’s decision was all about.”
The current alignment of the project would take US 50 through the “Rocky Point” neighborhood. A diverse, working class neighborhood in the heart of South Lake Tahoe. The newly proposed alignment would use existing roads to create a similar loop while keeping the Rocky Point neighborhood intact.
“For years we’ve seen diverse neighborhoods across this country divided by transportation projects that people said would bring them together,” said City Manager Joe Irvin, “Today City Council said we wouldn’t do that and instead focus on improving the neighborhoods at the heart of our community.”
One of the biggest concerns was the use of eminent domain, where government takes private land for public use with fair-market compensation. With the resolution today City Council said they would not support that and encouraged other agencies to do the same.
City Council also directed the City Manager to work with TTD, TRPA, and other stakeholders to determine the best way forward with an alternative route that accomplishes these goals. They also directed staff to support the “Main Street Management” plan which would provide a more pedestrian friendly corridor in the Stateline area.
“The City has been hands off on this project for years,” said Mayor Wallace, “It is time for action. I think today’s resolution shows we are finally headed in that direction.”