GPS units on South Tahoe snowplows recalibrated


By Kathryn Reed

Representatives from the company that installed the GPS units on the snowplows in South Lake Tahoe were in town this month to make sure all of the equipment is in place for when the snow really flies again.

The devices had to be remounted from where they were originally located for better reception.

South Lake Tahoe residents should be able track plow drivers next winter via GPS. Photo/LTN file

Some areas in town just don’t get good reception – much like cell phones. However, there were times when the plows transmitted information saying they were in Kansas. That glitch has been resolved, according to city officials.

The GPS is designed to be good for the public and good for street crews.

“The public will be able to see what has been plowed and what hasn’t been,” Stan Sherer, community development director, told Lake Tahoe News. “All the streets are color coded so we can determine which is the best route to work.”

This data will be available on the city’s website. And Sherer promises it will be easy to use.

Another issue still not completely resolved is who is supposed to shovel which sidewalk or when there isn’t a sidewalk along Highway 50. More sidewalks will be put in this summer as Caltrans continues with its water quality project along the highway.

South Lake Tahoe and Caltrans rules conflict with one another. The city ordinance says the owner of property or the agency with the right-of-way where the sidewalk sits must keep it clear.

Caltrans rules say, “The degree and type of maintenance for each highway, or portion thereof, shall be determined in the discretion of the authorities charged with maintenance thereof, taking into consideration traffic requirements and monies available thereof.”

Caltrans’ legal department told Lake Tahoe News, “The local ordinance conflicts with statutory law, noted above, granting the state the exclusive right to maintain and control its rights of way. Principles of sovereign immunity, which are grounded in the California state Constitution, prohibit enforcement of the ordinance against the State because it directly conflicts with state’s authority to control and maintain its own property.”





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Comments (7)
  1. X LOCAL says - Posted: May 25, 2012

    The G.P.S. system is a huge waste of money.What was the cost of this system and what is the cost of maintaining it ??? Got along without it for over 40 years and all it does is cost the City money.

  2. dumbfounded says - Posted: May 25, 2012

    X Local, as I read this article, I formed exactly the same thoughts. It hardly seems like the time for spending.

  3. Robert Fleischer says - Posted: May 25, 2012

    I have a different viewpoint, and I thank Kai for doing this article. Hopefully the information on where the plows are will be transmitted and posted in real time to the city website.
    Knowing what streets have been plowed, but ESPECIALLY where the plows are presently in relationship to one’s own street, will help considerably I think, on making plans for when to leave one’s house for shopping, errands, etc. I can imagine that the TRPA, ever so viligant (?) about vehicle miles, might also think so. :-)

  4. PubWorksTV says - Posted: May 25, 2012

    Sounds like a waist of money to me – Big waist of money, but heck,

    … the government knows how to spend your money better than you do so Dumbfounded and X Local you should stop whining and go make some more money ’cause your government has plans and by golly you need to give them the money to do it.

    Now get out their and keep pullin the cart would ya.

    Robert, you are so right that it is of value to know when your street will be plowed … who cares what the cost is – i mean if maybe, when, possibly they post the info online the web site will crash from all the people going to it to check to see how the roads are being plowed….

    … in closing let me say I’m so glad I moved away.

  5. Hang Ups From Way Back says - Posted: May 25, 2012

    Whoo cares where the plows are,how about buying a few more new ones for the old fleet retirement metal yard.

    Figure out who can plow the sidewalks besides lazy store keepers stuck behind the counter with a starbucks,day old donuts.

  6. Steve says - Posted: May 25, 2012

    Maybe the plows really were in Kansas.

  7. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: May 25, 2012

    Waste of money