Stakeholders weigh in on Cascade to Meeks Trail
TAHOMA, Calif. — Following several informational workshops this summer, members of the community were given the opportunity to weigh in on the proposed Cascade to Meeks Trail.
The Cascade to Meeks Trail was highlighted as a top priority in the 2020 State Route 89 Corridor Management Plan and would create a walking and biking trail from the area of Cascade Lake to Meeks Bay, through Emerald Bay.
The trail is being explored through a partnership between the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and California State Department of Parks & Recreation, Caltrans, El Dorado County, The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and others including homeowners in the project area.
They are currently conducting a feasibility study. As a part of the study, several different possible trail alignments were presented to the public during three different Zoom workshops.
Following the workshops, the public was asked to take a survey which asked about the possible trail alignments and other aspects of the project.
“We hired a consultant team that went through this whole process of creating evaluation criteria for the whole segment, based on the cost, effects to character of the neighborhood, environmental concerns,” said Rebecca Cremeen, associate planner for TPRA, about how the alignments were developed.
The possible trail segments were split into six different segments, which survey takers were able to weigh-in on.
The survey was sent to more than 1,100 stakeholders of which 348 responded. As far as the popularity of alignment options, there was no clear leader.
However, people’s opinions of the alignments is just one piece of information TRPA will use to determine the final alignment.
This survey data will be shown to members of the steering committee who will agree on the alignment, which will happen throughout the fall.
Those alignments will then be looked at on a more granular level such as where bathrooms and vista lookouts could be placed.
With all of that being said, the trail is not a done deal.
“This feasibility report is one tool that the agencies will use to determine whether or not to even go forward with this trail,” Cremeen said. “It might be that based on the report that its not feasible or that it’s feasible in some areas and not in others.”
If it is moved forward, there will still be many environmental impact surveys conducted. During the process, the public will have several opportunities to weigh-in.
Cremeen is hoping to put another draft of the plan out to the public this winter.
“This is the dream, right, this is the vision. Getting it to reality, it takes time, it takes detail, it takes work, elbow grease, it takes patience,” said TRPA Public Information Officer Jeff Cowen. “That’s Rebecca’s role in this and TRPA’s role in this is to put in the work and not give up on the dream and to not let that vision fail.”
To learn more about the project and the follow its progress, visit http://www.westshoretahoetrail.com.
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