Addressing Traffic Safety Concerns Along Mt. Rose Highway - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Addressing Traffic Safety Concerns Along Mt. Rose Highway

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Some residents along the Mt. Rose Highway corridor are concerned about traffic safety along that stretch. The intersection with Callahan Road has been of particular concern lately; two people were killed in a crash there earlier this month.

Callahan Ranch resident Kris Hemlein heard the crash from her backyard.

"I heard the crash and then I heard the sirens," she said. "And then the flight for life helicopter and it wasn't the first time. I hear it regularly on this road, unfortunately."

Residents say this intersection is becoming increasingly dangerous.

"It's gotten progressively worse and part of it is the commuter traffic going from Incline to Reno," said Callahan Ranch resident Steve Wolgast. "There's more traffic that's traveling faster but the problems are compounded by all the development along the highway."

Raphael Barkley, who lives in the Mt. Rose Estates, has started forming neighborhood committees to address the problem.

"We have a left turn lane here and these people here in Monte Vista will pull into our turn lane almost in a head-on collision," she said. "In fact, a lot of people have had that experience and there's something wrong with that - that people are so desperate to get out. Maybe a stoplight will add some law and order because it's like the Wild West out here."

According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, the number of cars on this stretch of road - about 14,000 a day- has stayed pretty constant over the last ten years and the crash rate is less than similar stretches of road across the state. Right now NDOT is fast-tracking a traffic signal evaluation for the Callahan Road Intersection.

"We want to do what's most appropriate to enhance mobility and safety through this intersection," said Meg Ragonese of NDOT. "But we don't want to create any unintended safety consequences. For example, traffic signals, if drivers run red lights, can lead to potentially dangerous T-bone crashes, so we will be closely evaluating any enhancements appropriate to make for this corridor."

That study will wrap up later this summer. In the meantime, residents have planned a meeting for Wednesday to talk to county planners and NDOT about their concerns.

"We welcome all participation," Wolgast said. "I think this is a problem that's been building for some time and it's reached kind of a crisis state."

County and state officials will share the latest traffic numbers and crash studies they've conducted over the years.

"We're not anti-development," Hemlein said. "We are just for controlled development according to our regulations and master plan and that hasn't been done up here. "It's getting quite scary; my daughter has had several close calls and so have I."

Wednesday's meeting is at Tamarack Junction from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It's open to everyone.

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