Highway Patrol Officers Deal With Tahoe Tourist Drivers

the Gazette de Reno Journal found startling details of stubborn, sometimes stubborn drivers who ignored advice from highway patrol officials in Caltrans and California and Nevada to avoid driving around Tahoe for non-essential purposes.

Even though Interstate 80 and US Highway 50 have opened up – solving the main bottlenecks for most drivers – flocks of tourists continue to pour in, so much so that the Emergency Operations Center of the town of South Lake Tahoe will remain open until New Years weekend, the Gazette Journal reported on Wednesday.

Over the past week, some of these drivers have not only delayed access to key services like gasoline trucks and electrical repairs, but have apparently put other drivers at risk.

One driver, Nevada Highway Patrol Officer Charles Caster, told the newspaper he attempted to avoid a closed freeway, Nevada State Highway 431, in order to take his wife to dinner at the Ritz Carlton in Truckee. (Caster said it was not clear if they made it there at all.)

READ ALSO: Without electricity or fuel, Sierra community faces crisis exacerbated by tourists to Tahoe

Another had 30 inches of snow on his vehicle, a Ford Bronco. And perhaps, most disconcerting of all, traffic was stopped on Interstate 580 to fix a tire chain. As the Gazette Journal notes, most drivers should have four when driving in icy conditions.

CHP Truckee tweeted this view of Route 267 on Christmas Day 2021.

CHP Truckee / Document

But most, in the end, simply tried to get around the massive highway closures earlier this week, using poorly maintained and less traveled lanes led by Google Maps. Earlier this week, Caltrans District 3 spokesperson Steve Nelson told SFGATE the agency saw drivers attempting to bypass freeway closures through side streets, only to find themselves stranded on those roads. secondary.

And while I-80 and Route 50 have now ditched chain controls for drivers, it is certainly worth being alert and careful when driving in snowy conditions.

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