Harrison Avenue – negotiations coming along
Slowly but surely, Harrison Avenue property owners and South Lake Tahoe city planners are working toward bettering the area and solving the parking shortage along the narrow street that parallels U.S. Highway 50.
After business owners expressed an unwillingness to foot the bill for improvements that would severely limit their parking, associate city planner Mary Kay McLanahan went back to the drawing board to find some constructive solutions.
The latest development is the city’s proposal to designate Alameda and Modesto Avenues as one-way streets, with 45-degree angled parking on one side. Following a recent meeting between city representatives and business owners, a private engineering company is now developing conceptual designs and cost analysis for the project.
“We met with property owners, they gave us direction about street-scape materials and traffic flow,” McLanahan said. “Then we went back to the engineering firm and asked for preliminary plans by the end of September.”
McLanahan said the working design now includes an 8-foot landscape strip touching Highway 50, a 13- to 15-foot travel lane, 45-degree angled parking and a 7-foot sidewalk fronting the businesses.
The big issue for property owners, of course, will be cost.
“Most of us want the improvements, but you can’t really make an intelligent decision until you know all the facts. There has been some frustration in the past, but I think once we get to the point where we have all the information, we will be able to make intelligent choices,” said Harrison Avenue property owner John Cefalu. “I’m prepared to step forward and pay something reasonable to upgrade my property. There are some people, of course, who will refuse to pay even 10 cents for the project – that can’t be helped.”
Cefalu added that since the project would have significant public impact and use, the city should seek out public moneys to help fund it.
Additional parking, a bicycle stop and picnic area could possibly be built on the California Tahoe Conservancy lot adjacent to the Tahoe Daily Tribune building, McLanahan said, if the city succeeds in trading the property with some environmentally sensitive property elsewhere in the city.
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