How are our roads and streets in South Lake Tahoe doing?
South Lake Tahoe is a community with beautiful natural surroundings, outstanding recreation opportunities, thriving businesses and safe neighborhoods, however our aging local streets and roads need consistent and significant improvements. Our roads need to be fixed to address the underlying structural conditions, potholes and cracks that present safety concerns for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Our roads don’t meet the standards of our community and they must be repaired.
Do road improvement needs in South Lake Tahoe go beyond simple repairs?
Many of South Lake Tahoe’s roads were already paved at the time of the City’s incorporation and were constructed on top of old dirt roads without an appropriate base layer or drainage. These roads will continue to degrade and require expensive maintenance until they are improved to modern standards.
Measure C is the solution our roads need. Measure C repairs will allow our roads to withstand the Alpine environment and traffic volume in our city and serve our community for years to come. Our city cannot continue to patch potholes and cracks one by one as a long term solution to road repair needs. We need Measure C to fix our roads.
What specific improvements do our city’s roads need?
Repairs are needed to reconstruct failing streets, address potholes, fix damaged roads and add dedicated lanes where possible for safe bicycle and pedestrian travel. Improving drainage on local roads would help reduce fine sediment runoff that degrades the clarity and quality of Lake Tahoe.
Is there a solution for fixing our roads and meeting the needs of our community?
To improve the safety and quality of local streets and roads, the City Council placed Measure C, the South Lake Tahoe Road Improvement Measure, on the November 2017 ballot. This measure would increase the local sales tax paid by residents, second homeowners, tourists and visitors by one-half percent to fund local road improvements. A significant portion of the revenue from Measure C will be generated by tourists and other visitors to South Lake Tahoe, ensuring they help pay for their impact on our roads.
What projects will Measure C complete?
Measure C will:
- Fix potholes and pave, maintain and repair local streets and roads, which will be the primary focus of funding
- Improve roadway safety for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists
- Provide safe routes to schools for local school children who walk or bike to school
- Repair roads to ensure ambulances, fire trucks, police cars and other emergency vehicles can respond to emergencies quickly and safely
- Improve lake clarity and water quality by reducing roadway fine sediment pollution
Will the City Council or the City Manager manage this funding?
No. The stable, locally-controlled funding provided by Measure C will be overseen by a dedicated, separate Roads Management Authority (RMA). By law, funds from Measure C could ONLY be used to improve local streets and roads, and the RMA will ensure road projects are completed throughout South Lake Tahoe. No funds from Measure C could be taken away by the State or used for any other purpose by the City Council now or in the future.
Will funds from Measure C be spent on non-road projects?
No. Funds from Measure C can only be spent on the projects and priorities set forth in the ordinance passed by the South Lake Tahoe City Council.
That said, there will be many indirect positive impacts of Measure C on our city and our community. By keeping our roads safe and well maintained, Measure C will help improve our quality of life and our property values. Measure C will also improve and expand bike lanes throughout South Lake Tahoe, making it safer and easier to bike in our community and promoting healthy lifestyles. By improving drainage on local roads, Measure C will help reduce fine sediment pollution that enters Lake Tahoe from deteriorating roads, which keeps Lake Tahoe’s water clean, clear and beautiful
Will Measure C help South Lake Tahoe’s economy?
Yes. In addition to the positive effect that repaired roads have on transportation and commerce, funds from Measure C could be invested in our community through local businesses.
The City is required to open all public works construction projects to public bid to construction companies, and the City Council has adopted a local bidders’ preference to encourage South Lake Tahoe contractors to bid on these projects. If South Lake Tahoe contractors are chosen, funding from Measure C will support local jobs and businesses.
Could funds from Measure C ever go to the proposed Tahoe Loop Road?
No. Measure C funding can only be spent on streets and roads within South Lake Tahoe and can NEVER be used for the proposed Tahoe Loop Road.
Could the State take funding from Measure C?
By law, Measure C funding could never be taken away by the State or used for other purposes by the City Council now or in the future. Measure C was specially written to ensure funds will be protected and restricted to roadway construction, repair and maintenance.
How do we know Measure C funding will be spent wisely?
Measure C accountability protections include a volunteer, independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee and annual audits to ensure that funds are spent as required by law. The Citizens’ Oversight Committee will review the Roads Management Authority’s planned roadway improvement program each year as well as all expenditures, projects and audits.
Additionally, the RMA will operate separately from the City Council and, by law, no funds could be redirected to pay for other city programs. Passing Measure C is the only way to create a source of funding that goes exclusively to road repairs and improvements, as it is against the law to permanently siphon a portion of the City’s general fund for road improvements. Measure C ensures that politicians elected years from now cannot take road funding for other projects and programs.
Will tourists and visitors to South Lake Tahoe contribute to road repairs?
Yes. Though tourists and visitors are important parts of our community and our economy in South Lake Tahoe, they often cause damage to our roads that is paid for by local residents. A large portion of the revenue from Measure C will be generated by tourists and other visitors to South Lake Tahoe, ensuring they help pay for their impact on our roads.
How many votes does Measure C need to pass?
In order to pass, Measure C needs the support of 66.7% of South Lake Tahoe voters. Measure C requires 66.7% support because funds will be restricted to the specific purpose of roadway construction, maintenance and repairs instead of going into the City’s general fund.
Where can I learn more about voting?
For information about voting, including how to register to vote, contact the El Dorado County Elections Department at (530) 621-7480 or online at www.edcgov.us/elections.
Where can I learn more information about Measure C?
For information from the City of South Lake Tahoe about Measure C, please visit www.cityofslt.us/roads.
How can I get involved with the campaign to pass Measure C?