Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008 | midnight
Residents of the Lakeview community do not want a new road giving them a back way out of the neighborhood, they told Mayor Roger Tobler at a meeting last week.
Currently the only way in or out of the neighborhood is the intersection of Lakeview and U.S. 93. The city has weighed whether to cut a new road through open space behind the neighborhood to allow residents to avoid the traffic on U.S. 93, especially after Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge opens in two years and heavy trucks are allowed on the road again.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, tractor-trailers have not been allowed to cross Hoover Dam and have been rerouted south on U.S. 95 through Laughlin. In late 2010, when the new bridge opens and heavy traffic is again allowed to take U.S. 93 to Arizona, city officials expect about 2,000 tractor-trailers will pass through town on the highway.
About 20 people gathered in a home on Lakeview Drive Nov. 3 and told Tobler in an impromptu meeting that they didn't want a road to cut through the open space where they now walk their dogs and allow their children to play, even if it meant they would be the only neighborhood west of U.S. 93 without improvements in preparation for the traffic influx.
Tobler assured the neighbors that council members hadn't intended to force anything on them, and if they didn't want the road, the city wouldn't build it.
The city plans to schedule a town hall meeting next month on the matter.
The Nevada Department of Transportation and the city agreed in September on several improvements to U.S. 93, including changes at Pacifica, Lake Mountain and Ville drives, to make it easier for residents to get onto the highway.
But NDOT would not consider an acceleration lane at Lakeview Drive and U.S. 930, so the city designed two potential back streets to Canyon Road, which would give those residents access to Industrial Road and a way to other parts of town without getting onto U.S. 93.
The proposed $700,000 road would either take traffic from Canyon Road down a utility corridor to Ridge Road, or from Canyon north of the neighborhood to connect with Lakeview Drive near Hillcrest Lane.
The latter would cut a swath right through a "quiet zone, a barrier" said Pete Dunham, who lives on Hillcrest.
"I don't need a road flying around here putting my dogs in danger," Amy Solich said of the option.
Tobler said he has responsibilities on all sides of the issue — keeping the neighbors happy while keeping the roads safe.
"Our job is to make is safer, but it's not an easy process, and it's a frustrating process," he said.
Billie Roberts, who lives on Hillcrest, said she wasn't concerned about traffic after the dam bypass bridge opened: "Won't it go back to what it was like before 9/11?"
Cassie Tomlin can be reached at 948-2073 or [email protected].