Twelve potential bike paths considered; Part 2
Editor’s note- This is the second of a two-part column from the city of South Lake Tahoe’s Recreation Commissioner, which updates the status of Measure S.
Measure S is divided into four separate programs: Funding for maintenance of bike paths, which will be built by the California Tahoe Conservancy; upgrading of Tahoe Paradise Park; construction of new ball fields near the college and construction of an ice rink.
Anything dealing with Tahoe Paradise Park is not in the jurisdiction of the city and was not reported on at the last meeting. I have asked that we include a presentation from a member of that organization on the next meeting’s agenda so we can stay in the loop.
We did have a report from Ray Lacey from the CTC regarding the bike path. He said there are 12 sites around the community where bike paths are being considered:
n15th Street Bicycle Trail: About a half-mile link between 15th street and the existing USFS bike trail that goes through Camp Richardson. Construction should begin in fall 2002.
n Sawmill Bike Trail: A link connecting Meyers’ Pat Lowe Memorial Bike Trail and Sawmill Road. Construction should begin June 2003.
n Ski Run Boulevard Bike Trails: Bike trails on both sides of Ski Run Blvd. Between Highway 50 and Pioneer Trail. Construction could begin summer 2002.
n Pine Boulevard Bike Trail: Connects the east end of the new Linear Park Bike Trail to the California/Nevada state line. Construction could begin in May 2002.
n El Dorado Beach to Timber Cove: Connects the east end of the El Dorado Beach Bicycle Trail to Timber Cove Beach. Construction could begin in 2002 or 2003. A future extension of this trail could link Timber Cove Marina/Beach to the Ski Run Bike Trail and Ski Run Beach.
n Harrison Avenue Bike Trail: Connects the west end of the El Dorado Beach Bicycle trail to the existing Al Tahoe Bike Trail. Construction could begin 2002.
n Meyers to Stateline Bike Trail: A 9.2-mile corridor from Meyers to the state line to be built on the old Caltrans freeway right of way. Construction could begin in 2004 or 2005.
n State Route 89 to Grass Lake Road: This is a conceptual trail which could link the west terminus of the Pat Lowe Memorial Bike Trail to the base of Luther Pass.
n South “Y” Bike Routes: Improve the existing Bike Routes between Eloise and 15th Street. through the South “Y” Industrial/commercial area. Construction is estimated for 2005.
n Pioneer Trail Bike Lanes: Bike Lanes along the entire length of Pioneer Trail. El Dorado County is completing final segment this season.
n Bijou Park Bike Trail: A link between Bijou Park and the El Dorado Beach and Boat Ramp and Campground by the Lake. Construction estimated for 2005
n D Street Bike Lanes: Bike Lanes on both sides of D Street between Lake Tahoe Boulevard and Highway 50. Construction is estimated for 2009.
As is the case with all government projects, there are still several hearings that must be held and problems that need to be solved to complete all of these projects, but that process is taking place.
The ball fields at the college site are in the planning process. This is a joint effort between El Dorado County and the city. The configuration of the complex is still to be determined. There are plans for one full-size baseball field, two full-size soccer fields and a smaller warmup area as well as a connecting bike trail. Construction is planned for summer 2002. There is also discussion of making one or more of the fields out of a new generation of artificial turf. This material is far superior to Astroturf. It is a permeable plastic grasslike surface that is filled with ground up tire pieces, laid on top of gravel, which in turn is laid on top of a drainage system. Because water drains right through, there is no need for a crown nor would there be locations of standing water. Once a rainstorm stops, the surface would be playable. The same would hold true for snow. Immediately following a snowstorm, the surface could be cleared using a full-size blower and a game could be played immediately. The surface itself is so soft, that a baseball game can be played on it without the need for dirt around the bases. Consequently the field can serve equally well for all forms of outdoor recreation. The places that have this material have shown no significant wear and tear in more than 10 years of usage.
The only problem is the cost. It is much more expensive than natural grass, but if we can figure out a way to build our fields out of this material it will greatly lengthen the outdoor playing season and reduce field closures due to maintenance.
The ice rink is in the bidding stages. The plan for the rink is to locate it next to the existing Recreation Center. The fully enclosed rink is to be NHL size with locker rooms, meeting rooms, a rental shop and an arcade. The overflow energy used to freeze the ice will help heat the pool at the Recreation Center. The city is taking bids for a general contractor to head up the project. Contractor Tom Haen has landed the refrigeration contract and the exterior building contract was awarded to Spanda Industrial out of Sacramento. The third and final phase is set to go out for bid this month. Construction is planned to begin sometime this summer.
Anyone with ideas regarding recreation, or who wishes to stay informed is encouraged to attend the next Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on July 23. Contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 530-542-6056.
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