Lake Tahoe bike plan wins Nevada award | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Lake Tahoe bike plan wins Nevada award

Staff reports

LAKE TAHOE – The Nevada Bicycle Advisory Board recognized the efforts of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization for their achievements in bicycling advocacy planning and safety for the 2010 Lake Tahoe Region Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

The plan calls for an additional 162 miles of pedestrian and bike facilities in communities around the lake to add to the nearly 100 miles already built. The plan specifically focuses on connecting existing paths and improving facilities in high-use areas with a goal of creating vibrant communities that appeal to locals and visitors and provide environmental, safety, and economic benefits.

“We appreciate the recognition that this award brings to the dedication that Lake Tahoe communities have to improving biking and walking experiences,” TRPA Transportation Planner Karen Fink said. “The TMPO facilitated the update of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, but it was the local agencies and organizations who recognize how integral biking and walking are to a healthy community and ecosystem who guided the content of the plan.”

In a letter from the governor’s office, the agencies were commended for admirable achievements in bicycling that the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan represents. The plan lays the framework for the long-term planning of bicycle and pedestrian facilities in Lake Tahoe and provides implementing agencies with the ability to apply for funding for new bicycle paths, lanes, routes, and sidewalks while also providing the public with an understanding of which corridors are designated for future facilities. The plan is an important tool for TRPA and local jurisdictions to coordinate bicycle and pedestrian facilities with other development, such as road work or commercial projects.

The Highway 50 project in South Lake Tahoe is an example of the importance of coordination the plan provides. What began as a Caltrans project to re-grade a portion of south shore’s main thoroughfare became a multi-jurisdiction project that included bike lanes, sidewalks, and landscaping and lighting that will enhance community character and safety while improving water quality and reducing vehicle emissions.

“Everyone came together for the Highway 50 project,” Fink said. “The bike plan provided a focal point for partnership and collaboration to bring about a 21st century project that Lake Tahoe will be very proud of.”

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In addition to improved safety and reduced vehicle emissions, an average of $15 million in local direct expenditures are estimated to come from cycling visitors to the Region each year.