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.
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.”