GID to look at speeding in Ranchos

GARDNERVILLE - A driver went so fast down Roger Paul's street that the Ranchos General Improvement District board chairman couldn't get a good view of either the young man's face or his license plate.

Frustrated not only with speeders in front of his James Street home, but also with the July death of a Gardnerville woman on Tillman Lane, Paul wants the speeding issue addressed.

During the GID's board meeting Wednesday, Douglas County Sheriff's Lt. Mike Biaggini will address his department's efforts and problems handling speeders in the Ranchos and throughout the county.

In addition to Tillman Lane, where Tamra Dykes was killed by a driver allegedly going more than 100 mph, Paul and Biaggini identified James Street and Blue Rock Road as regular thoroughfares used by speeding motorists.

Paul said James Street has "become something of a real speedway."

Biaggini said he will discuss staffing limitations affecting the sheriff's office's ability to handle speeders.

"We only have one traffic unit on day (shifts) and (swing shifts)," he said.

Biaggini said the traffic deputy must prioritize various traffic concerns.

"Obviously, Tillman Lane is not the only place where traffic is a concern," Biaggini said.

"Other deputies jump from call to call," and cannot help the traffic deputy focus on stopping speeders, Biaggini said.

"Traffic is and has been for many years our No. 1 complaint," Biaggini said.

He said the traffic deputy has a variety of responsibilities each morning, including concerns about school zones along with other heavily populated residential areas such as Stephanie Way and Johnson Lane.

"We aren't blind to the fact that it is a problem," he said. "There's only so (many) resources that we have. It's a juggling act, where we hit it that day."

The sheriff's office is vying for a grant and will learn in October if it can hire an additional motorcycle-riding deputy to handle traffic.

GID Manager Bob Spellberg said the board "just wants to know what's going on" with speeders and wants to know if it can assist the sheriff's office.

An estimated 10,000 people live in the Ranchos.

Paul said Dykes' death helped "spark (his) interest" in excessive speeding in the Ranchos.

"The tragedy that killed Dykes is very likely to occur again and we have just got to get a handle on this traffic business," he said.

Paul said Wednesday's public meeting, which begins at 6 p.m., will serve as a venue for a community-based discussion on the topic of speeding.

The Ranchos is so densely populated that even the subdivision's major traffic arteries like Tillman and Long Valley are heavily residential, Paul said.

"Maybe the public will have a suggestion," he said. "The GID would be willing to participate in whatever program is developed and support it financially."

Paul is also upset that he sees many speeding drivers traveling with small children.

"They would be most offended by someone speeding through their own neighborhood, but they seem unmoved by the threat (they pose) to others," Paul said.

"It's just a very dangerous thing."

The meeting takes place in the GID office located at 931 Mitch Drive.

What: Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District trustees board meeting

Where: 931 Mitch Drive

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment