INCLINE VILLAGE, NV - For as long as anyone can remember the intersection where the Mount Rose Highway meets Lake Tahoe has featured two things: a stop sign and often a long wait for a break in the traffic on Highway 28 to make a right or left turn.
No more. Wednesday, traffic was moving smoothly in all directions even as a small crowd listened to dignitaries as they officially dedicated the new feature.
Roundabouts are common elsewhere in the world, but they've been sometimes controversial and slow to catch on here. In fact this is the first in the Tahoe Basin.
So as Tahoe gets its first, who better to help dedicate this new roundabout than Incline resident and Beach Boy Mike Love.
Love co-wrote the Beach Boy classic " I get around." It played in the background briefly as Love addressed the crowd.
Unfortunately, no one thought to bring a deuce coupe to let him try it out.
"Well you can't think of every thing<" Love said later, but a woody would have been nice."
Love was more than just a local celeb adding some star power to a town event. He has some credentials, having lived here since 1981 and having been associated with environmental causes here and elsewhere for years.
"Whatever we can do, whenever we can do it. If it's the benefits of environmentalism, we're all about it."
And there is an environmental story here. Vehicles sitting at stop signs add exhaust emissions to a Basin atmosphere already showing visible pollution problems on winter days.
This roundabout will help. So will $11 million dollars in erosion control work just completed on both roadways.
The $2.4 million dollar roundabout will also make things safer here. Studies show they cut vehicle collisions by 40 percent, injury accidents by 76 percent.
Thanks to public private partnership, this one has also been dressed up with landscaping and wildlife sculptures by local artist June Towill Brown.
A nice new gateway to a community on the shores of a national treasure.
Safer, environmentally sound and easy on the eye.
"It's beautiful," said Love. "A lot of people came together. They've done a lot to keep runoff from getting into the lake. I'm proud to be a part of it."