Linear bike path connection in the works
A bike path that begins at Lakeview Avenue provides an expansive view of Lake Tahoe’s South Shore before it abruptly ends at the edge of a parking lot.
But cyclists don’t stop where the paved path ends. They continue over potholes and tree roots to get where they are going.
Change is coming. California Tahoe Conservancy on Friday is expected to approve a $420,000 grant for a project that would extend the bike path to Ski Run Boulevard where it would link up with the path at Linear Park.
Plans also call for a bike path to loop down to the public beach next to Timber Cove Marina and rejoin the main path where Highway 50 intersects with Bijou Wagon Road.
The grant, to be decided on Friday by the Conservancy’s board, would go to the city of South Lake Tahoe. The city received $225,000 from the Conservancy in 2002 to fund initial planning for the project.
This latest grant will pay for engineering work and buy property needed for the trail, said Bob Kingman, a bike path specialist with the Conservancy. Kingman said the goal is to begin construction in 2005.
“It is a long process that involves a lot of partners and a lot of agencies,” Kingman said. “It takes a monumental coordinated effort to get something like this to go through urban areas. But the payoff is huge.”
The path, to run three-quarters of a mile, will cost about $1 million to build.
“So far most of the property owners we’ve talked to are very supportive of the project,” Kingman said. “They see it as a win-win situation, it helps bring customers to the business without them having to provide any parking.”
Biking in the area on Tuesday, Rod Hayes of South Lake Tahoe said he liked the idea.
“It would be nice not to have to go over those little stumps there where it’s narrow,” Hayes said. “But I’m not sure its something the city should be spending money on right now.”
The city would be in charge of the project, but the money to construct it will most likely come from the Conservancy. Established in 1984, it is one of seven state-funded conservancies overseen by the California Resources Agency.
The Conservancy works at Tahoe to provide public access and recreation opportunities, protect sensitive lands and restore the natural environment.
– Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org