Cyclists on TRAC with new half/mile trail
Tahoe Regional Advocates for Cycling had its fourth official meeting Tuesday night, but the group has already had a major impact on the cycling community.
TRAC has received an extension on grant funds, which will provide for a half-mile stretch of Class1 bicycle trail that will run parallel to Elks Point Road from U.S. Highway 50 to Nevada Beach.
The project is scheduled for construction in 2002, said Tom Wendell, chairman of TRAC.
In the works for the last six years, the project was 100 percent designed to the tune of $90,000, said Bob Kingman, vice chair of TRAC and program analyst for the California Tahoe Conservancy. But a communication gap between Douglas County, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the U.S. Forest Service almost precluded the project.
TRAC caught wind of the problem and filled this gap, which resulted in the extension of the project deadline, so that Douglas County could still be eligible for the $475,000 grant.
“All the respective people from the TRPA, Forest Service and the county were great,” Kingman said.
The TRPA waived the water mitigation fees and the Forest Service granted a special use permit and donated land coverage, which otherwise could have been very costly, Kingman said.
Kingman was applauded by TRAC for participating in the extension of the grant, but he was quick to point out the importance of the group to positively affect change.
“Although I was the agent, it’s the voice of many that really matters,” he said.
TRAC appealed to the Nevada Department of Transportation in February to address bicycle trails in their plan for drainage and binwall construction on the east shore of Lake Tahoe along Highway 50. Although a 1997 Senate resolution encourages the extension of existing non-motorized transportation during such projects, NDOT had failed to do so.
A key point that TRAC addressed are drainage grates, which are hazardous to cyclists, road surfaces in the Cave Rock tunnel and adequate bicycle lane width.
The organization formed into committees Tuesday to address specific issues, such as fund raising, facility design, public relations and bicycle safety.
TRAC is hoping to develop a logo and provide information about its goals and projects during “America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride,” which is a ride around the lake and is held annually during the first weekend of June. The event is also a big fund-raiser for the Leukemia Foundation.
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