Tahoe Regional Planning Agency releases revised transportation plan draft
With millions of visitors flocking to the Tahoe Basin annually, along with an aging infrastructure, future demands on the region’s transportation network are a serious concern. That’s the inspiration behind Tahoe Regional Planning Association’s Linking Tahoe: Active Transportation Plan and the area’s larger forthcoming Regional Transportation Plan, both of which coordinate inter-agency efforts to improve the region’s transportation needs.
“Certainly there are a ton of places that need improvement,” said TRPA spokesman Tom Lotshaw, describing a variety of concerns regarding future connectivity.
As part of the continued effort to address those issues, TRPA released a draft of its Linking Tahoe plan for public review and comment.
“We collected a lot of information already,” said Morgan Beryl, a transportation planner with TRPA, describing previous public input opportunities. “What we’re asking now is, ‘Did we hear you correctly?’”
The Linking Tahoe plan, which is a revision of the 2010 Lake Tahoe Regional Bike and Pedestrian Plan, focuses on human-powered transportation concerns and linking those opportunities with public transit. The goal for the project is to better connect trails, sidewalks and bike lanes with public transportation and reduce motor vehicle usage.
“The No. 1 focus we heard is connectivity,” Beryl said, calling the plan a framework for moving forward. “We’ll go deeper into design as we get closer to implementation. This is a step in the process.”
“It’s one of several plans that will become the Regional Transportation Plan,” Lotshaw further explained.
The larger regional plan includes considerations for lake-wide transportation corridor planning and expanded public transit offerings. It is expected to be finished later this year, updating the 2012 Regional Transportation Plan.
WORK IN PROGRESS
While both plans have not been finalized, a number of projects associated with it are already underway.
“We’re working with our implementing agencies to bring our transportation system into the modern era,” Beryl said.
Lotshaw cited the recently completed Sawmill Bike Path between Meyers and South Lake Tahoe and the ongoing Highway 89 realignment in Tahoe City as among recent projects under the proposed long-term regional plans.
While plans included methods for easing current congestion issues, the project is also expected to make the region more marketable as a destination, Beryl said.
“The plan makes the argument that providing active transportation is a regional benefit,” she said. “Not only does it provide congestion relief; it also brings people to the area.”
According to TRPA officials, more than 35 miles of bicycle and pedestrian improvements have already been undertaken since 2010.
“We have pretty strong implementation each year,” Beryl said.
TRPA will continue to accept public comments regarding the plan through Feb. 16. They will also host three upcoming public hearings to continue the discussion. The first will be Feb. 10 during the TRPA Advisory Planning Commission in Stateline. That will be followed by the North Shore Regional Advisory Council meeting in Kings Beach Feb. 11, and the Tahoe Transportation Commission meeting Feb. 12 in Stateline.
Comments can also be submitted directly to Beryl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information is available at http://www.tahoemmpo.org/activetransportationplan.