Pedestrians, cyclists will benefit from Ski Run project |

Pedestrians, cyclists will benefit from Ski Run project

Ski Run Boulevard could be in for a face-lift.

“The idea is to form a pedestrian-friendly shopping area in the village,” said Ron Rumble, president of the Ski Run Boulevard Private Property Association.

The California Tahoe Conservancy, the city of South Lake Tahoe and the Ski Run Boulevard Private Property Association are devising a plan which would include an 8-foot-wide, two-lane bicycle path with a 2-foot buffer, new curbs and gutters and an additional turning lane in the two-and-one-half block wide Ski Run Village.

“This is an association of private property owners who are working together to facilitate the streetscape improvements,” Rumble said.

This potential project is a continuation of the Stateline Ski Run Community Plan, adopted in 1994 by the city and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

“South Lake Tahoe has never been a pedestrian- or bicycle-friendly town,” said Ray Lacey, program coordinator for the Conservancy. “The Conservancy wants to change that.”

The project would provide a recreational area which would increase pedestrian and bicycle traffic through Ski Run Village, said City Planner Gary Marchio. “If we build it, they will come.”

But that is only part of the puzzle.

In order for this project to move forward, several factors need to be determined. The city and the association must figure out a mutually agreeable plan to decrease the width of the road – now 100 feet wide – which would allow space for two bicycle paths along either side of Ski Run Boulevard from U.S. Highway 50 to Pioneer Trail.

This bicycle path is partially contingent on the ability of the association and the city to provide space for the bicycle path while dealing with various, yet to be determined, obstacles, such as telephone poles, parking and fire hydrants, Lacey said.

“I think the process is going forward very smoothly and on schedule and there are some areas that need further discussion,” Rumble said.

If the city and the association are able come up with a plan to provide space for a continuous trail, they will be eligible to apply to the Conservancy for funding of this bicycle trail estimated to cost $1.5 million. Money would also need to be provided for 20 years of maintenance to the bicycle trails in order for the conservancy to approve the plan.

“If there is money in Measure S this would be wonderful,” Rumble said. “If not, we would be very creative in how we would get funding.”

The Conservancy has spent $8,000 on conceptual designs, which include portions of the project that are the financial responsibility of the city and the association. The Conservancy is willing to spend up to $17,000 more.

However, actual financial responsibility has not been set in stone.

The city last year allocated $106,520 from the water quality fund to construct a portion of the infrastructure in the village, which would include curbs, gutters and a 5-foot-wide sidewalk.

At this time the project is still in the conceptual stage. But the three groups will continue to work together to formulate a viable plan that will be beneficial to all groups, Lacey said.

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