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Bikers looking ahead to a city with paths

It’s no secret that South Shore bike trails are disjointed and incomplete – even the 1998 El Dorado County Recreation Master Plan recognizes that.

That’s why the Bicycle Trail Subcommittee was created to explore possibilities.

“From the county perspective, we’re dealing with bike trails as an offshoot of the master plan process,” said Steve Yonker, recreation commissioner for El Dorado County District 5. “The California Tahoe Conservancy is going to be the key agency here, now we need to map it all out and make it happen.”



The Bike Trail subcommittee was formed by the South Tahoe Alliance for Recreation, to identify and promote bike trail use and development in El Dorado County and South Lake Tahoe. After researching the state of South Shore’s bike trails and assessing needs, the subcommittee of city, county and conservancy representatives, will report their findings back to the recreation alliance for further action.

“We’re trying to put together and identify existing and future needs so we can ultimately improve the entire bike trail network,” said Robert Kingman, recreation and public access for California Tahoe Conservancy representative. “The Conservancy has a mandate to support and help provide recreation amenities and public land access, that’s why we are so involved in this.”




A big step for the city of South Lake Tahoe will be the completion of the Linear Park project, providing a bike trail from Ski Run Marina to the Stateline Shell station. But that only addresses a small part of the city’s bike trail needs. Besides funding difficulties, a big stumbling block over the years has been land-use rights, said Steve Weiss, city parks superintendent.

“For a Class I bike trail, you need 8 feet, then at least 2 feet on each side for safety purposes – that’s at least 10 feet total. That’s a big deal for property owners,” Weiss said. “The acquisition of land is very difficult. Once we get the land, the funding is relatively easy in comparison.”

Although the location is not yet set, the Tahoe Coalition of Recreation Providers is sponsoring the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Trail Symposium Oct. 20 and 21 to discuss implementing Lake Tahoe Bikeway 2000, the project that would form a bike trail loop around the entire lake.

BREAKOUT

Six South Shore bike trail links are listed as priorities in the South Shore Lake Tahoe Recreation Master Plan. California Tahoe Conservancy, pending budget approval, would fund much of the work.

– Complete a Class I bike trail between Meyers and the Stateline area by 2003

– Complete the Linear Park trail link by 2001

– Complete the Sawmill Pond trail link by 2004

– Complete the Camp Richardson trail link by 2004

– Complete the Ski Run to El Dorado Beach trail link by 2003

– Complete the Sugar Pine Point to Meeks Point trail link by 2005


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