Bicycle trail would link Meyers, city |

Bicycle trail would link Meyers, city

Susan Wood

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune/ Alfred Knotts, left, El Dorado County senior planner, and Bob Kingman of California Tahoe Conservancy review plans for a six-mile bike connection between Meyers and South Lake.

If El Dorado County has its way, Meyers residents may consider South Lake Tahoe people as neighbors as early as 2010.

That’s because its plans with the California Tahoe Conservancy are under way to connect the two South Shore urban areas with an 8-foot-wide bike trail that will be built in three phases.

Public comment ended a few weeks ago on the first phase, a 11Ú2-mile stretch on state land that will run from one side of the Lake Tahoe Golf Course next to Highway 50 to Sawmill Pond Road.

“This is an important, valuable project. This connection by the county is one we can be happy about,” city Parks and Recreation Commissioner Jerome Evans said Tuesday. Evans submitted comments on the required environmental document.

Golf Course manager Jeff Stange believes adding trails to the area is a good idea and won’t hinder golfing operations. He’s not alone in his enthusiasm from Meyers businesses.

Lira’s market manager Russell Van Hooser commutes four miles one way on his bicycle from Sierra Tract to the Meyers store.

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“We do get a lot of traffic in here – especially in the summer. People on the bikes stop in for a banana,” he said. “I pass a lot of people on my commute.”

But it’s Van Hooser’s leisure that has him more excited. He simply wants a path to walk his dog on.

The west end of the first phase will connect to the Pat Lowe Memorial Trail that runs on both sides of Highway 50 from Highway 89. The old trail abruptly ends at Pioneer Trail and Santa Fe Road.

“There’s a segment of the population that wants to ride Class 1 bike trails,” said Bob Kingman, CTC project manager and avid rider. The state has kicked in $206,000 in planning grants and intends to spend more. Class 1 trails are separated from the road. Class 2 lanes are connected to the travel lane.

The entire project could cost an estimated $6 million and will start next summer, with the next two sections planned to go in two years apart.

The 2-mile second phase of the proposed project will require constructing a bridge over the Truckee River and run alongside Sawmill Pond – which side it will be built on is yet to be determined. At 2.4 miles, the third phase is due to link the popular local’s fishing hole to the “Y” off Lake Tahoe Boulevard.

“That’s a dangerous road,” Kingman said.

Motorists often take up both travel lanes, speeding by cyclists trying to share the slow lane.