Bike path around Emerald Bay to be discussed |

Bike path around Emerald Bay to be discussed

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Planners want to figure out how to make it easier and safer for bicyclists to ride a nine-mile stretch of Highway 89.

The mountainous and curvy road will be a challenge, that’s why they want to hear from residents at a public meeting next week.

“This is the beginning of design for the project, that’s why we’re asking for public input,” said Leslie Case, spokeswoman at the California Department of Transportation. “People who have lived in the area a long time offer really good insight.”

The road wraps around Emerald Bay from Cascade Lake to Rubicon Bay. It is one of several sections of highway that circles Lake Tahoe which has not yet been studied for bike use.

“It’s an essential missing link between South Shore and West Shore,” said Alfred Knotts, assistant transportation planner at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. “Caltrans has really stepped up to the plate to see what we can and can’t do.”

Caltrans employees and representatives from Alta Planning + Design, a firm based in San Rafael, Calif., will attend the meeting Wednesday. A final report on the bicycle study is due in December.

Right now, several “Share the Road” signs posted along the two-lane highway are the only measures that tell drivers to accommodate bicyclists.

“We’re trying to develop a range of alternatives,” said Scott Forsythe, a Caltrans employee working on the study.

Just like anywhere at Lake Tahoe Basin, environmental concerns are a top priority when a construction project is being considered.

“In general, we’re looking at endangered species, scenic (concerns) and erosion,” Forsythe said.

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