unedited 1/09 Tahoe Mt. News story:
By Kathryn Reed
Even though the bicycle was invented long before the automobile, the human powered vehicle often takes a back seat to its four-wheeled counterpart.
South Shore cycling advocates are not letting this thwart their efforts to put lanes and trails in, and to improve exiting routes. South Lake Tahoe’s Recreation Department should hear in March or April if it qualified for a $500,000 state bike trail grant. The city must come up with 10 percent in matching funds – it has 10.01 percent set aside.
Gary Moore, who runs the rec department, wants to use that money to repair current trails that often require mountain bike tires because of the size of the cracks.
“It doesn’t make sense to move on (new trails) when you cannot ride on the ones we have,” Moore said.
He would like to fix the Al Tahoe path, Linear Park and the route that runs behind Meeks-Motel 6. The latter gets a ton of snow because an agreement allows the snow from the motel parking lot to be pushed onto the trail.
Moore told the City Council last fall that it’s possible to use a combination of latex and asphalt like what was used on the airport runway. It costs more, but lasts longer. The freeze-thaw that occurs in the mountains makes cracks develop at a rapid pace.
No entity in El Dorado County has received money from this particular grant program so city staff is hoping that fact is a bonus.
Issues at the Y
City Council members and staff have gotten an earful about the narrow lanes at the Y since Caltrans reconfigured the intersection. The lanes make it a worse nightmare for bicyclists than before the state workers came to town last summer.
It’s no easy task for pedestrians to cross either now that snow has fallen.
The council entertained a motion Jan. 6 (deadlines got in the way to know the vote) to authorize Qualcon Construction to “perform corrective pavement striping” at the Y. The $37,800 expense would not impact the general fund.
Caltrans weighs in
The Highway 50 Project is really about protecting the Lake and has little to do with anyone using the road. It’s about stopping road salt, oil and other muck from reaching the Lake. Right now three pipes between El Dorado Beach and Rufus Allen Boulevard bring gunk from the highway to the water.
Ty Polastri, who runs the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition, said had been meeting with Caltrans officials frequently. Those discussions led to a compromise – Caltrans will put in bike lanes when it does the Trout Creek to Ski Run Boulevard project next year.
Meyers to Stateline
The draft environmental documents for the South Lake Tahoe Greenway that would run from Meyers to Stateline have been delayed. Sue Rae Irelan, project manager with the California Tahoe Conservancy, says summer is now the target date for release.
The project is caught up in the state’s Dec. 17 stop work order. So nothing is happening with it right now. This won’t change until politicians figure out how to deal with the budget deficit.