-- The Placer County Office of Emergency Services (OES) and the Department of Public Works have taken delivery on three programmable traffic signs, two of which are now staged in the North Lake Tahoe area. The signs will be housed by the North Tahoe Fire Protection District for regional deployment.
To show the capabilities of the signs, one will be on display on Thursday, March 29, 2007 at the North Lake Tahoe Fire Station 52, 288 Northshore Blvd. in Kings Beach at 11:30 a.m. Expected to attend are Placer County 5th District Supervisor Bruce Kranz, whose district includes part of North Lake Tahoe, North Tahoe Fire Chief Duane Whitelaw, Placer County OES Program Manager Rui Cunha, and Placer County Department of Public Works Deputy Director for Tahoe, Peter Kraatz.
Funds to cover the cost of the $14,000 signboards were granted to PlacerCountyby the federal Department of Homeland Security as part of a regional effort to improve traffic control during large evacuations. However, the signs can be used for all hazards, such as fire, floods and winter related emergencies and will be housed at the North Tahoe Fire Protection District's Stations. OES has developed guidelines for use of the signs and will work with NTFPD, and all other users in implementing those guidelines.
"We do experience occasions where programmable message boards will supplement our full effort to get a message to the public," said Placer County's Cunha. "These signs can be helpful during road closures, avalanche hazards, power outages, water outages and many other incidents."
The signs are portable and can be towed with a pickup truck. The message area is visible from a distance and can be programmed with a keyboard that is part of the unit. They are self contained with solar panels and a back-up generator and have programmable message board.
"These signs are one more tool we can use as a public service agency to inform the public about situations that arise," said North Tahoe Fire District's Whitelaw. "Having these tools assigned to the fire district will assure deployment on a 24/7 basis."