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Residents Concerned About Erratic Drivers in Popular Sparks Neighborhood

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John Byrne/Tribune A sign on Dolores Drive near Pyramid Highway that asks motorists to “drive like your kids live here” was erected after several incidents prompted residents to take their concerns to the county.

At the Spanish Springs Citizens Advisory Board meeting in early September, residents spoke up in public comment about problems with people speeding on Dolores Drive, a popular roadway/ neighborhood off Pyramid Highway.

“I’m concerned about the amount of traffic calming measures on Dolores Drive,” says Spanish Springs resident Camelita Holtom. She says that almost every day- weekdays are the worst- between 6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. people are speeding along that road at 50- 55mph and there are 15 kids who live in that section between Erin Drive and Pyramid.

“Recently our neighbor across the street from us was rear-ended trying to get into his driveway with his brake lights and his signal on,” she adds. Alta also shared a photo of a motorcycle laying in the middle of the road, says that it’s one of the two collisions that they’ve witnessed in front of their home in the last five years.

Shannon Green, who also lives on Dolores added, “It’s unnerving that people use Dolores as a go-around. In one direction people are going so fast that they don’t see the school bus (stopped) so they just drive right around it and from the other direction they’re gunning it to get up the hill,” she says. Green added that she has two rambunctious boys who play out in their front yard and one vehicle chased one of her kids cussing at him for playing in the street.

“I’ve been accosted with my children in the car for trying to back a trailer up into the driveway and that’s over and beyond the speeding that goes on every day,” Green says. She also spoke in favor of putting in a 4-way stop sign at Dolores and Erin and said the neighborhood could even benefit from a 3-way stop at Robert Banks and Dolores Drives.

“People go 50-60 mph flying down that hill at all hours of the day and night,” Lainee Weiner says. She added that she has a petition with the county to install speed bumps.

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office PIO Bob Harmon says that so far this year there have been 150 traffic complaints in all of Washoe County, mostly from speeding. Forty-three of those were from Spanish Springs, mainly in the Dolores Drive area that also includes the neighborhood near Jesse Hall Elementary School and Spanish Springs High School. Four motor deputies and a sergeant conduct traffic enforcement in all of Washoe County and Harmon adds that they spend quite a bit of time in the unincorporated area.

“This year we issued 11 citations along Dolores Drive,” he says. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office also installed a radar trailer on Dolores and Robert Banks Boulevard which has helped slow people down. The radar trailer has logged 5,300 cars this year so far and 85 percent of them were going 30 mph or less. Harmon says that the area is continuously monitored at peak hours with an emphasis on traffic control in high complaint areas.

“There are limitations on what the county can do based on federal regulations. One of the sheriff’s department’s commitments is to increase deputy numbers…currently we have six and want to try to get that back up to 10, to pre-recession times,” Harmon says.

“We respond to everything and we understand that when we’re out there, people drive differently. We want people to know that (Dolores Drive) is one of our highest areas of concern and we are working on solutions with the resources that we have. People have to take personal responsibility as well and put public safety ahead of trying to get someplace,” Harmon says.

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