Tahoe bikeway moves forward, but still faces obstacles

Jim Grant/Nevada Appeal

Jim Grant/Nevada Appeal

As a plan continues to unfold to ring Lake Tahoe with a scenic bikeway, Nevada proponents are focusing on the 30-mile stretch from Stateline north to Crystal Bay.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors last week approved allocation of about $2 million to Douglas County and $1.6 million to Washoe County from voter-approved state Question 1 funds.

The legislation for the bond granted $5 million to Carson City, Washoe and Douglas counties with the understanding that the money would not build Nevada's side of the bikeway, but could help by providing matching funds to jump start the project. The three entities entered into an interlocal agreement to work together.

"We've received $6 million in grants for matching," said project manager Karen Mullen.

The vision for the ambitious route is to provide a non-motorized transportation option that connects communities, enhances recreational opportunities and promotes the enjoyment of the Tahoe Basin for residents and visitors, according to a concept document for the bikeway work group.

But despite forward motion, the project still faces a number of obstacles, one of which is getting around Cave Rock. Another is the narrow roadway of Highway 28 in the Carson City portion of the project.

"Spooner to Incline is the 28 corridor where we have uncontrolled parking and pressing safety issues," said Carl Hasty, district manager of the Tahoe Transportation District. "We need to address those issues first, and Carson City is participating. There could possibly be a shuttle service by next summer."

The area in question has little to no parking, forcing summer beach-goers to park on narrow edges of the roadway or walk long distances to their destinations.

"We don't want to exacerbate that problem," Hasty said.

Supervisor Shelly Aldean said obtaining easements will be difficult.

"Property owners are not interested right now," she said.

Because of that, the bikeway likely will need to be aligned closer to the highway. The Nevada Department of Transportation is active on a corridor management plan and helping with a safety study.

The Nevada Stateline-to-Stateline Bikeway Project is divided into four primary sections:

• Crystal Bay to Incline Village, the location of several existing and planned bicycle facilities.

• Incline Village to Sand Harbor

• Sand Harbor to Round Hill Pines Beach

• Round Hill Pines to Stateline

"We're looking for the portion from the casino core to Round Hill Pines to be under construction by the spring of 2012," Mullen said.

The Incline to Sand Harbor section could move ahead in 2013.


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