What’s new on the US 50 project? Come find out.

US50 Open House Dec 1st

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TRPA Governing Board Unanimously Approved the TTD’s SR89/Fanny Bridge Community Revitalization Project

On May 27, 2015 the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Governing Board unanimously approved the TTD’s SR89/Fanny Bridge Community Revitalization Project.

The project includes constructing a new bridge over the Truckee River just east of the existing Caltrans yard, located on SR 89 coming into Tahoe City from Highway 80; the rebuilding of the existing Fanny Bridge giving it a lifespan to exceed 25 years, resolving the long-term structural and safety issues of the 87-year-old bridge at the Northwest corner of Lake Tahoe.

The Fanny Bridge Revitalization Project will give Tahoe City a new look and safer roadways.

The Fanny Bridge Revitalization Project will give Tahoe City a new look and safer roadways.

Three new roundabouts will aid in alleviating traffic back-ups.

The project will also provide two emergency safety egresses and ingresses to and from the west shore and make multi-modal transportation more safe and efficient in and around the Tahoe City wye.

The existing section of SR 89 along West Lake Blvd. between Fanny Bridge and the eastern roundabout in front of SaveMart would be relinquished by the state to Placer County. This allows for traffic calming measures, beautification and multi-modal safety. Design features can include: landscaped areas, raised landscaped median, on-street parking, sidewalks, street lighting, benches, etc. The area would become more user friendly for cyclists and pedestrians.

As a locally controlled street with a contemporary, complete-street design, it could be temporarily closed for community events, such as Farmers’ Markets, street fairs, art exhibits.

Funding

Approximately $25.5 million in Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) funds will go towards the overall project costs for construction.  The FLAP supports state and local efforts related to public roads, transit systems and other transportation facilities, with an emphasis on high-use recreation sites and economic generators accessing Federally owned lands.

Timeline
(May be subject to change.)

November 2015
70 percent design submittal

January 2016
95 percent design submittal

March 2016
100 percent design submittal

May 2016
Award construction contract

June 2016
Construction starts and is anticipated to last for two seasons.

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SR 89/ Fanny Bridge on Lake Tahoe Newsline

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SR 89/Fanny Bridge Community Revitalization Project Public Meeting

TTD_Public Meeting Dec. 4, 2014. email

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Public Suggests US HWY 50 Requires “Complete Streets”

Opinions from residents and businesspersons who weighed-in on the US Highway 50/South Shore Community Revitalization project (Loop Road), indicated 82 percent believe the most important goal is to beautify the corridor and create gathering spaces for locals and visitors.

Efforts to reduce traffic congestion and improve mobility options were mentioned by 67 percent of respondents; with the need to support vitality and revitalization/economic development specified by 60 percent, rounding out the three most important objectives.

Opinions indicate 82 percent believe that the most important goal for the US/50 South Shore Community Revitalization project is to beautify the corridor and create gathering spaces for locals and visitors.

Opinions indicate 82 percent believe that the most important goal for the US/50 South Shore Community Revitalization project is to beautify the corridor and create gathering spaces for locals and visitors.

Tahoe Transportation District and community representatives recently hosted an update on the project, which attracted more than 90 attendees and approximately 200 participants through Crowdbrite, an interactive online platform that details the project’s proposed alternatives and invites comments. The website www.ConnectSouthShore.com launched at the open house and will accept responses through Jan. 31, 2015.

The current proposal intends to realign US Highway 50 near Stateline with four lanes along Lake Parkway East behind Harrah’s, MontBleu and the Village Shopping Center (formerly the Crescent V) while converting the artery through the casino core into three lanes with thoroughfares reconnecting at Pioneer Trail in California. A reclassification from federal highway to local street status would provide for local area control and development of a local “main street.”

Mike McKeen, an area businessman and owner of the building that houses The Naked Fish and Powder House near the intersection of Pioneer Trail and Highway 50, provided his vision for the area with plans and renderings from an architect he hired.

“Public response and participation is exactly what we’re looking for,” said Carl Hasty, district manager, Tahoe Transportation District. “Having the community’s involvement and suggestions for the project is crucial to both the overall planning and for the environmental documents, the next step in the process.”

Next steps include release of the Environment Impact Review in spring 2015, which will outline the environmental technical studies and the draft. This document will circulate for no less than 60 days for public and agency review and comment. After all comments are incorporated and/or responded to, a preferred alternative will be selected and the Final EIS/EIR will be considered for certification and approval by TRPA (TRPA approval), the Federal Highway Administration (NEPA approval), and the Tahoe Transportation District Board (CEQA approval). When the preferred alternative is approved and the environmental document is certified, then TTD can proceed with final design and right-of-way acquisition.

The US Highway 50 project is intended to revitalize the South Shore of Lake Tahoe but will also integrate with numerous existing and planned projects including the following:

  • Nevada Stateline to Stateline Bikeway – South Shore Demonstration Multi-use Trail from Stateline to Round Hill Pines Resort
  • Harrison Avenue Improvement Project
  • US 50 Water Quality and Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Project – Ski Run to Trout Creek
  • Linear Park Multi-use Trail
  • Van Sickle Bi-State Park
  • Transit Shelter and Service Improvements
  • Kingsbury Grade Improvement Project
  • South Tahoe Greenway (future)
  • Lake Tahoe Passenger Ferry Project (future)
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Tahoe Ttransportation District Earns National, Regional and State Honors for Three Lake Tahoe Projects

Tahoe Transportation District has been recognized nationally and by the state of Nevada for its positive impacts, collaborative initiatives, environmental enhancement, and service to the community’s overall mobility and sustainability efforts for multiple projects. The Project for the American Public Works Association- Nevada Chapter awarded top honors for Nevada Stateline to Stateline Bikeway – South Demonstration Project, while the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals commended the SR 28 Corridor Management Plan.

The Tahoe Transportation District team accepts an award from the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals for SR 28 Corridor Management Plan. Pictured (L-R) Sergio Capozzi, Society of Recreation Professionals; Derek Kirkland, TTD; and Stephanie Grigsby, Design Workshop.

The Tahoe Transportation District team accepts an award from the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals for SR 28 Corridor Management Plan. Pictured (L-R) Sergio Capozzi, Society of Recreation Professionals; Derek Kirkland, TTD; and Stephanie Grigsby, Design Workshop.

“The Tahoe Transportation District has successfully implemented several different projects throughout the Tahoe Basin, and it’s great to see a community leader be nationally recognized for their work,” said “B” Gorman, president of the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce. “TTD is embracing the importance, and trend within our community of public/private partnerships to execute projects, which helps to create jobs and contributes to the growth of our business community.”

Lumos & Associates, an engineering firm with local offices in Tahoe, nominated TTD’s Stateline to Stateline Bikeway project for the American Public Works Association Nevada Chapter award for best Nevada transportation project under $5 million completed in 2013. The projects were presented to a panel of judges and were scored on several criteria, including service to the public, community need, intricacy of design, aesthetic value, difficulty of construction, cost, growth, complexity of financial background, and sustainability. Receiving the APWA award from the Nevada Chapter now makes the bikeway eligible for consideration as National Project of the Year.

The newest 1.2 mile segment of shared-use (Americans with Disabilities Act compliant) Stateline to Stateline Bikeway from Elks Point to Round Hill was dedicated in June. The first one-mile was commemorated in June 2013 and more than 10,000 people accessed the trail during the first month. Visitors and residents can now leave their cars parked and bike or walk into both Nevada Beach and Round Hill Pines Beach via the trail. Eventually the Stateline to Stateline Bikeway will span 30 miles and connect South Shore to Incline Village.

In addition, the Lake Tahoe Bike Coalition, an area non-profit membership organization that focuses on creating a sustainable bike-friendly community, awarded TTD with the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Achievement Award for 2013. TTD was honored for its significant contribution to the advancement of bicycling in the Lake Tahoe region.

Design Workshops, a design landscaping firm with local offices in Tahoe, nominated TTD’s SR 28 Corridor Management Plan to the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals. There were over 30 projects submitted nationwide and the award is presented annually for exemplary projects. SORP noted the management plan for its excellence in collaboration and positive impacts.

The SR 28 Corridor Management Plan is proactive community-based implementation and management strategy to preserve and promote the unique natural characteristics of the National Scenic Byway of state Route 28, which runs from Spooner Summit on U.S. Highway 50 to Crystal Bay. The plan includes 13 local, state and federal agencies in a cooperative effort to effectively manage the corridor. It is designed to improve safety, access for emergency vehicles, alleviate congested roadways, and reduce vehicle emissions. More than 2 million cars travel the corridor each year and over 70 percent of the pollutants affecting Lake Tahoe’s clarity are attributed to erosion/developed-area run-off, much of it related to existing transportation systems.

The management plan includes transit recommendations for service along the corridor. Riding the bus can reduce emissions thereby improving air and water quality.

As the operator of South Shore’s public transportation system, the TTD also recently completed phase 2 of the California Transit Shelter Project, which has been recognized by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency for a 2014 “Best in the Basin” award.  The project installed 10 new bus shelters along U.S. Highway 50 and Pioneer Trail in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., providing bike racks, bear-safe trash cans, seating, safety, comfort, and weather protection for riders. Six of the new shelters are constructed of pre-fabricated aluminum frames and glass that match existing shelters on the South Shore while the remaining four are a new design utilizing redwood timber and glass.

“We sought to develop a shelter design that is more reflective of Tahoe’s alpine setting, and this timber structure is one that accounts for safety, visibility, aesthetics, and cost associated with construction and maintenance,” said Alfred Knotts, project manager for the Tahoe Transportation District.

“To be recognized for a consistent level of superior work with three separate projects within the Lake Tahoe Basin makes our entire team proud,” said Carl Hasty, district manager for the Tahoe Transportation District. “We’ve had success with our projects because of our ongoing efforts to leverage and maximize public and private partnerships.”

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Dedication for Latest Phase of Lake Tahoe Bikeway, June 19

A 1.2-mile shared-use bike path on the Nevada side at South Tahoe that connects Elks Point and Round Hill Pines and provides access to Rabe Meadow with Nevada Beach and Round Hill Pines Resort will be officially dedicated Thursday, June 19 at 12 p.m.

The second segment of the Stateline-to-Stateline Bikeway, South Shore Demonstration Project adds to the existing path for a total of 2.2 miles. Meanwhile, the North Demonstration Project is expected to begin construction in 2015 and the first phase will connect Incline Village to Sand Harbor State Park. Eventually the Stateline-to-Stateline Bikeway will span 30 miles and connect Stateline, Nevada to Crystal Bay, Nevada. The South and North demos along with other existing paths are all part of America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway that will eventually circumnavigate the lake.

The second segment of the Stateline-to-Stateline, South Shore Demonstration Project is now complete.

The second segment of the Stateline-to-Stateline, South Shore Demonstration Project is now complete.

Guests christening the new trail included Alfred Knotts, project manager Tahoe Transportation District; Curtis Fong, ride director Bike of the West; Steve Teshara, chair South Shore Transportation Management Association; Pedro Rodriguez, project manager Nevada Department of Transportation; and “B” Gorman, president of the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce.

The South Shore Demonstration project, led by the Tahoe Transportation District, opened the latest section to public in October 2013. The first one-mile was dedicated in June 2013. The bike trail complements the lifestyle of “America’s Best Lake” (USA Today, Aug. 2012) with safer biking and walking options and will improve air quality and lake clarity by reducing auto emissions and vehicle miles traveled.

More than 70 percent of the pollutants contributing to Lake Tahoe’s clarity loss come from the existing transportation systems and developed areas. Riding the bus can reduce emissions as well as road-use erosion, improving air and water quality.

“By having these first two phases complete we are closer to reaching our long-term goals of providing alternative transportation choices at Lake Tahoe,” said Carl Hasty, district manager, Tahoe Transportation District. “Our vision has been to build these projects a step at a time, while achieving environmental thresholds for air quality, water quality and recreation. These benefits provide for a better quality of life and offer safer choices to our community and visitors.”

The American Disabilities Act accessible multi-use trail serves an average of 350 pedestrians, bikers and non-motorized users daily during summer months. It runs through mostly National Forest System lands providing scenic vistas of meadows and mountains as well as panoramic views of Lake Tahoe. The path has interpretive signs and benches and provides an additional connection to Round Hill Pines Beach from Stateline along the South Shore of Lake Tahoe.

Partners in the bicycle trail project include: Tahoe Transportation District, Nevada Division of State Lands, Nevada State Parks, Federal Highway Administration, Nevada Department of Transportation, Q&D Construction, Lumos and Associates, Matzoll Development Consultants, AECOM, Ascent Environmental, LSC Transportation Consultants, Alta Planning, United States Forest Service, Douglas County, Washoe County, Carson City, Washoe Tribe, South Shore Transportation Management Association, and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

The TTD and its partners developed the Nevada Stateline to Stateline Bikeway, South Shore Demonstration Project to address the demand for more pedestrian and recreation bicycle trails to provide connections to neighborhoods, employment centers, schools, and recreation facilities, while reducing environmental impacts associated with auto use. The trails will combine exclusive off-highway bicycle and pedestrian paths, striped bicycle lanes and shared-use roadway signs.

For details on Tahoe Transportation District and its current projects, visit www.TahoeTransportation.org or call (775) 589-5500.

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Sand Harbor Summer Shuttle Service Continues with Public/Private Funding

Tahoe Transportation District’s East Shore Express, a park and ride bus schedule from Incline Village to Sand Harbor, will continue summer operations for a third consecutive year thanks to a federal grant and the Lake Tahoe License Plate Funds.

The East Shore Express transports people from Incline Village to Sand Harbor.

The East Shore Express transports people from Incline Village to Sand Harbor.

The goal of this Tahoe Transportation District service is to address traffic congestion and promote safety along the Nevada state Route 28 corridor, while reducing environmental impacts. More than 70 percent of the pollutants contributing to Lake Tahoe’s clarity loss come from the existing transportation systems and developed areas. Riding the bus can reduce emissions as well as road-use erosion, improving air and water quality.

Buses will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., running every 20 minutes, May 31 – June 29 (weekends only). Daily operations begin Monday, June 30 and conclude Monday, Sept. 1.

Roundtrip fare is $3 per person and $1.50 for children 12 and under, seniors and disabled passengers. Fares include admission to Sand Harbor. Passengers transferring from Tahoe Area Regional Transit pay $1 with a transfer. The service utilizes a dedicated entrance to keep traffic moving and drops passengers at the Visitor’s Center near the main beach. Parking inside Sand Harbor is $10 per vehicle for Nevada residents and $12 for out-of-state motorists.

The East Shore Express loops from the old Incline Village Elementary School on the corner of Highway 28 and Southwood Boulevard to Sand Harbor. TART passengers are able to connect to the East Shore Express at the TART stop located east of Village Boulevard. The Washoe Regional Transportation Commission has also added a weekend route from Reno (Legends Outlet Mall) to Sand Harbor.

In its 2012 inaugural season, the East Shore Express shuttled 12,155 passengers between June and Labor Day. In 2013, there was a 15 percent increase with 13,981 riders.  The service was initiated by the TTD in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Division of State Parks, Nevada Department of Transportation, Nevada Highway Patrol and Washoe County School District.

For this summer, the Federal Transit Administration awarded TTD $120,000 and Lake Tahoe License Plate Funds provided an additional $80,000 to cover costs for the East Shore Express to operate.

More than 1 million visitors recreate annually in the state Route 28 corridor, but with limited parking in many areas, the situation has resulted in pedestrians crossing into busy travel lanes in both directions. In 2012, the Nevada Division of State Parks ended walk-in visitation. Drop-offs and parking are illegal along the highway at Sand Harbor. The no parking zone encompasses approximately 3/4 of a mile in both directions from the park’s main entrance and will result in a fine.

The East Shore Express is a component of the SR 28 Corridor Management Plan, a community-based action strategy to preserve and promote the unique characteristics of this National Scenic Byway. The plan includes 13 local, state and federal agencies in a cooperative effort to manage the corridor. It is designed to improve safety, access for emergency vehicles, alleviate congested roadways and reduce vehicle emissions.

For details on Tahoe Transportation District and its current projects, visit http://www.TahoeTransportation.org or call (775) 589-5500.

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Tahoe Transportation District awarded $25.5 million in funds

If you haven’t read about it in the local Lake Tahoe and Truckee newspapers or seen the press release posted on the TTD site, then it’s a good thing you’re following our blog posts. The Tahoe Transportation District was awarded $25.5 million in funds from the Federal Lands Access Program for the State Route 89/Fanny Bridge Community Revitalization Project, Meeks Bay Bike Path and the Dollar Creek Shared Use Path.

The State Route 89/Fanny Bridge Community Revitalization Project will improve pedestrian, cyclist and driver safety and make public transportation more effective with long-term strategic connectivity, reliability and travel times.

The State Route 89/Fanny Bridge Community Revitalization Project will improve pedestrian, cyclist and driver safety and make public transportation more effective with long-term strategic connectivity, reliability and travel times.

FLAP, that’s short for Federal Lands Access Program, awards financing to projects that improve transportation facilities near Federal lands. The program supports State and local efforts related to public roads, transit systems, and other transportation facilities, with an emphasis on high-use recreation sites and economic generators.

Seems like a perfect fit for the Tahoe City Area.

Of the three projects, Fanny Bridge has been of major public interest since it was introduced in the 1994 Community Plan, with a study report approved in 2002. Goals include improving pedestrian, cyclist and driver safety; making public transportation more effective with long-term strategic connectivity, reliability and travel times. It will also provide two viable emergency evacuation routes from the West Shore; lessen environmental impacts by reducing vehicle emissions and improving storm water treatment.

The project plans to address the iconic 84 year-old structurally deficient Fanny Bridge. It will also aid in alleviating present and future travel back-ups in and around the Tahoe City intersection where Highways 28 and 89 meet. Nicknamed the “Wye,” it’s the main artery for Tahoe City, various National Forests and State Parks, private businesses and Tahoe’s world class ski and summer resorts. Specifically, the project area includes State Route 89 into Tahoe City from the West Shore, the Truckee River Bridge and associated intersections and along State Route 89 entering into Tahoe City from Truckee and SR 28 from Kings Beach.

Tahoe Transportation District, a bi-state organization responsible for the implementation and management of transportation and transit projects and programs in the Tahoe Basin area, will continue to coordinate with local, state, and federal partners to secure the remaining funds, estimated between $7.5 million.

Currently, the SR89/Fanny Bridge Community Revitalization Project is under environmental review, which involves collecting field data necessary to develop required environmental and technical studies. An estimated completion date for drafts of the Technical Environmental and Engineering Studies is fall 2013 with release of a draft environmental document in winter 2014. A preferred alternative has not been selected.

TTD will be presenting project information before the Placer County Board of Supervisors, Oct. 22. The agency is also working on a focused economic study with an estimated completion date of fall 2013. Depending on funding, construction could begin in 2015.

Learn more online. And remember to keep following our blog!

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Tahoe Summit 2013 Recap

Mark Twain probably never thought that a group of politicians would sit around on a Monday morning in early August in the year 2013 at Sand Harbor to talk about preserving Lake Tahoe for future generations. When Mark Twain was at Lake Tahoe, it was pristine and there were few modes of transportation — boats, horseback, rail and foot — long before the invasion of urban dwellers in cars and mussels on boats.

Many of the visitors to the 2013 Tahoe Summit arrived via the East Shore Express from Incline Village and several TTD buses from South Tahoe.

With an estimation of nearly 9 million annual visits to the Lake Tahoe basin, it is a challenge to keep this lake pristine, but it is possible with the efforts of everybody. TTD helped by providing buses for transit.

And when I say everybody, I mean everybody was at the Lake Tahoe Summit. There were representatives from the general public to, non profits, local governments, state governments, federal governments, elected officials from inside and outside the basin, as well as their hard working staffs in attendance on a smoky Monday morning at Sand Harbor.

Al Gore addresses elected officials, community leaders and Lake Tahoe residents at the Tahoe Summit.

Al Gore addresses elected officials, community leaders and Lake Tahoe residents at the Tahoe Summit.

With a lineup of speakers ranging from former Vice President Al Gore to the governors of Nevada and California and senators and congressional representatives from Nevada and California, it was a sight to see this cast of characters on the stage of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.

Additionally, there were interesting comments from various groups, such as the host organization, the Tahoe Fund and TRPA, the regulating authority of the Lake, and a newly established Northern Sierra Partnership.

When this cast appears on stage, they all saying the same song but in various tunes. The words to the song were all about how do we increase the clarity of the lake without over regulating, while still allowing for people from around the world and locally to recreate and enjoy the treasure of the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe.

The topics of the speeches ranged from global warming, mussels and clams, erosion and runoff pollution to forest fire smoke.

As the speeches began a slight patter of rain washed over the audience and people covered their heads with umbrellas and hoods. This rain lasted for only a few minutes as the tone and passion of the voices on stage increased.

The applause for each speaker remained solid and constant just like the fight to preserve Tahoe and the environment for future generations.

There were also many dinners and lunches scheduled around this summit, but none may have been as important as the one hosted by the Tahoe Fund. The Tahoe Fund organized and orchestrated a fabulous event for all to enjoy while raising nearly $300,000 to be used for special projects in the basin that will help lessen the environmental impact on its clarity.

Buzz Harris

Tahoe Transportation District Government Affairs subcontractor

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