No opposition to Pioneer Train bike path plan |

No opposition to Pioneer Train bike path plan

Unlike last year, there appears to be no opposition to a plan to install a bike path on Pioneer Trail between Golden Bear Trail and Al Tahoe Boulevard.

The Pioneer Trail Erosion Project held its first meeting in a year Monday night to discuss proposals for a striped and signed bike trail by El Dorado County Department of Transportation.

Construction to overlay the road and install drain pipe crossings to three retention ponds will begin after the Fourth of July and will be completed by the end of October.

“Our task is to build basins to retain and infiltrate the volume of runoff for a 20-year, one-hour storm (1 inch of rain in one hour),” Janel Gifford, senior civil engineer for the El Dorado County Department of Transportation said.

The project will pave the stretch of road and add marked bike lines on both sides which will be at least 3 feet wide and in some places as wide as 8 feet.

“The road is for the most part wide enough (for bike lanes) but the portions that are not will be,” Gifford said.

The basins will be designed to control the sources of erosion that are currently entering surrounding creeks. The basins will capture road sand and other sediment before it reaches Lake Tahoe.

The basins will be located near Kokanee Trail, Cattleman’s Trail – which will receive vegetation consisting of the meadow area – and Cold Creek, a naturally depressed area. Gifford said that they will not be visible from the road.

Last year the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and home owners expressed concerns about project encroachments. There was no opposition, however, on Monday.

TRPA and Lahontan did not want the proposed runoff basins to disturb stream environment zones and the trees that would have had to be cut down, nor did the agencies want the basins to take away from Pioneer Trail’s scenic corridor.

“We were encroaching on all of that,” Gifford said.

Residents who live on Maiden Hair Court thought that they would be forced to look directly at the basin that had been hollowed out of the forest. There is no longer a problem because the department found an alternative location.

The only problem remaining are drivers who park their cars on Pioneer Trail.

“We think that it is a real safety issue,” Gifford said. “It’s a real concern for us.”

Virginia Matus-Glenn, principal at Sierra House Elementary School, vowed to work with Gifford on the problem because most of the parking occurs during soccer games and other sports activities. Signs will be put up directing vehicles to park in the school lot.

During construction the road will be closed to one lane.

TRPA has permitted construction noise to be allowed from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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