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Tahoe active transportation plan moves forward

Isaac Brambila
ibrambila@tahoedailytribune.com

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — An active transportation plan for Lake Tahoe continued to take shape Tuesday during a workshop where Tahoe Regional Planning Agency staff discussed ideas with the public and gathered feedback from community members.

The plan’s goals, according to a presentation by TRPA Assistant Planner Morgan Beryl, are to identify gaps and priority projects in the bike and pedestrian path network. Additionally, they aim to build partnerships with other local agencies, find funding opportunities to improve quality and safety of that network. Improvements will affect projects around the lake.

TRPA personnel expect to have a finalized proposal of the plan by December.



Within those plans, much of the focus will be placed on improving walking and biking alternatives and influencing people’s transportation habits.

“We want to make it easy, convenient, safe, accessible. We want people to want to walk and bike,” Beryl said.



According to 2012 data presented by the TRPA, 10 percent of people said they bike and 9 percent of people walk in the “Y” area. In stateline area, the number of walkers spikes to 22 percent but the number of bikers drops to 1 percent. Those numbers are drastically lower than the number of people who drive, 73 percent at the “Y” and 62 percent in stateline.

Among the biggest dissuaders for people to bike or walk more often to their destination were needed improvements to facilities, crossings and intersections and traffic safety, according to the data. The plan aims to change those opinions.

“We’re really looking at trying to design our streets for everyone,” Beryl said.

Data gathered during the workshop from the public revealed that an infrastructural design that makes people feel safe, is convenient and encourages people to use bikes, walk or use public transportation should be a priority. Safety, accessibility, improvements in connectivity to the path network and increased opportunities to improve quality of life by enjoying the outdoors more were also given added importance by public present at the workshop.

The TRPA’s presentation included different options available for improved safety for bikers and pedestrian, including a separate cycle track, shared bike paths, buffer zones for bike lanes, in-roadway signs, rapid flashing beacons, pedestrian safety islands, curb extensions and other enhanced markings.

Among the favored options by people present were separate bike paths and protected or buffered bike lanes, as well as rapid flashing beacons or signs for crosswalks, marked conflict zones, bike boxes within traffic lanes to provide bikers added protection in intersections and improved signage.

Staff is also trying to find areas where bike racks will be more effective and the most travel routes in order to prioritize the areas that affect the most people.

People can provide feedback via a survey at tahoempo.org/ATPsurvey.


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