There are several proposals put forth for the construction of the aforementioned intersection but the deciders as to how best to proceed need to determine if their decision is a band-aid solution or one that will last several decades into the future.
Councilman Ron Schmitt – who not only doesn’t show up to public information meetings but also wants to cut corners by using limited local monies, rather than federal dollars to hasten the process – seems as if he is a little kid trying to sweep a boo-boo under the carpet and move on quickly so as to not allow the parents, or the public, to notice the mistake.
True enough, it would speed up the process, but will the final solution be one all would be happy with in the future? Probably not. I believe it would be one great, big Band-Aid that we would all be sorry was done in a few years down the road.
The big problem is that when the present situation was created it was wrong to begin with. It should have been corrected then, not now. The current mess needs to be corrected in such a way so as to not have to readdress the same situation again 10 or 20 years down the road. We have all seen what happens from our experience with the Spaghetti Bowl.
Now we have a situation where as many as 70 homeowners and Immaculate Conception, a beautiful Catholic church, and its parishioners are going to be displaced for the convenience of people who crowd the roadways for maybe a couple of hours in the morning and again in the afternoon as they are coming and going to work.
The people crowding the roadway are the same people who over and over again are crying the famous “NIMBY,” or “not in my backyard,” if we were to consider disrupting their way of life. Where is the place for the 70 homeowners and the church to cry foul and be heard?
A solution – costly, but permanent – would be to close the center two lanes of Pyramid Way and construct pillars from where Pyramid comes over the crest of the hill coming into town and elevate the roadway from there all the way to Interstate 80. The on and off ramps could be made to come into play in the area north of the present McCarran Boulevard in the area of the Bureau of Land Management that is earmarked for park land.
This solution would be viable for years to come and federal money could be used to develop the project. This solution would also allow for full use for the streets under the elevated portion of the roadway. Anything short of this will be unacceptable to anyone as it will have to be revisited constantly just as the Interstate 80 Spaghetti Bowl has had to be redefined. We all know what a mess that is, constantly.
Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.