Local agency is in pursuit of dollars to help connect basin-wide bicycle network
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – A regional transportation oversight agency is pursuing a federal grant that will potentially fund the creation of a comprehensive bicycle trail around Lake Tahoe.
The Tahoe Transportation District has submitted a grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation requesting $20 million to fund a 75-mile bicycle path around the lake, according to a written statement by Alfred Knotts, project manager with the TTD.
While much of the 75-mile path is currently in existence, the grant proposal addresses certain segments which must be completed in order to provide system-wide connectivity, Knotts said in a Monday interview.
Those segments are in various stages of construction readiness. Some are shovel-ready, while others need more planning and design phases before construction can begin, Knotts said.
If awarded, $15 million of the grant will be used to create numerous bike trail segments in both the California and Nevada portions of the Lake Tahoe Basin. About $4.5 million is slated for planning of additional regional bike networks, according to Knotts.
The grant will help reduce resident and tourist dependency on the private vehicles, said Carl Hasty, TTD District Manager.
“The Lake Tahoe Bikeway project will connect Tahoe Basin communities and increase tourism dollars in our area,” Hasty said. “In addition to increasing public safety, health and air quality, the project positively affects the area’s transportation system sustainability through reduced greenhouse gas emissions, less dependence on oil and reduced traffic congestion.”
A federal decision on the grant request is expected by the end of September.
“In Indianapolis and Philadelphia, similar grant requests to construct segments which completed a network were awarded, so we feel pretty good,” Knotts said. “Also, our request addresses non-motorized and alternative forms of transportation which bodes well for the project.”