Stateline, NV…A one-mile section of new multi-use path at Stateline, Nev., near the South Shore casinos, was unveiled to the public Thursday, June 20, 2013, marking the beginning of what will eventually become a system of trails that circumnavigates the lake.
As part of America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway project, the new segment of ADA accessible multi-use trail — which features an environmentally sensitive bridge — begins below Kahle Park adjacent to Highway 50 and Kingsbury Grade Highway 207 just north of the South Shore casinos, and accesses Nevada Beach and Elks Point Road located two miles east of the casinos.
The next phase, set for construction this summer, will provide an additional connection to Round Hill Pines Beach with Stateline along the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. Transportation and agency officials from around the region applauded the completion of the first segment of the South Demonstration Project which further closes the gap on in the trail system on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe.
“Broadening transportation choices by providing alternatives to the private automobile has always been a goal of regional transportation planning,” said Alfred Knotts, Project Manager, Tahoe Transportation District. “This project takes us all one step further in achieving that goal and is becoming a priority as the number of Lake Tahoe residents and visitors continues to increase. Completion brings us closer to realizing the vision of a separated bicycle facility encircling magnificent Lake Tahoe. Not only are these projects important in achieving environmental thresholds for air quality, water quality, and recreation but they are also important to our quality of life, human health, and safety and are a true asset to our community and visitor experience.”
The South Demonstration Project gives residents and visitors a preview of the benefits of the larger Nevada Stateline-to-Stateline Bikeway and the collective vision of America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway.
The project benefits include safer biking and walking opportunities to complement the lifestyle of “America’s Best Lake” (USA Today, Aug. 2012); and positive environmental benefits through improved air quality and lake clarity through reductions in auto emissions and vehicle miles traveled.
“We are all moving in a positive direction to realize this dream,” said Lake Tahoe bicycle trail advocate Curtis Fong whose company Bike the West organizes the annual Tour De Tahoe and America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride attracting thousands of riders annually to Lake Tahoe. “If you build it, they will come…I anticipate over the past 22 years the two bike rides have generated a minimum economic impact of $150 million [or 6.8 million annually].”
“We are in a Renaissance right now and opportunity is the new way for Tahoe,” said Douglas County Commissioner Nancy McDermid, who also serves as vice chair of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governor Board.
Faced with a demand for more pedestrian and recreation bicycle trails and tasked to reduce erosion, particulates, auto emission and traffic congestion, momentum to continue is firmly rooted.
“The Regional Plan [a blueprint for Lake Tahoe’s sustainable future] is a reality – it’s bikeable and walkable,” said Joanne S. Marchetta, executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. “The momentum is here and we’re investing in Tahoe’s environment and economic vitality.”
The next phase of the South Demonstration Project, between Elks Point and Round Hill on the Nevada side, is slated to begin late this summer and will allow access to the high value recreation sites of Rabe Meadow, Nevada Beach as well as the communities of Stateline, lower Kingsbury, Elks Point, and Round Hill. The project is part of an eventual 30-plus mile segment of the Nevada Stateline to Stateline Bikeway along the east shore.
Partners in the bicycle trail project include: Tahoe Transportation District, Nevada Division of State Lands, Nevada State Parks, Federal Highway Administration, Nevada Department of Transportation, Herback General Engineering, Lumos and Associates, Matzoll Development Consultants, AECOM, Ascent Environmental, LSC Transportation Consultants, Alta Planning, United States Forest Service, Douglas County, Washoe County, Carson City, Washoe Tribe, Incline General Improvement District, South Shore Transportation Management Association, and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
The TTD and its partners developed the Nevada Stateline to Stateline Bikeway to address the demand for more pedestrian and recreation bicycle trails that provide connections to neighborhoods, employment centers, schools, and recreation facilities, while reducing environmental impacts associated with auto use. The trails will combine exclusive off-highway bicycle and pedestrian paths, striped bicycle lanes and shared-use roadway signs.
For details on Tahoe Transportation District and its current projects, visit www.TahoeTransportation.org or call (775) 589-5500.