Donner Lake bike lanes planned for 2008
Plans to widen a portion of Donner Pass Road and extend bike lanes along Donner Lake will have to grapple with water quality, parking and traffic speed issues.At a public workshop Tuesday, Town of Truckee staff and a Bickett Engineering consultant said the project to widen Donner Pass Road from South Shore Drive to Moraine Road would extend the existing lanes that were completed in 2000 between Cold Stream Road and Moraine Road. Donner Lake residents discussed the new bike lanes, drainage issues and road-side parking, and asked for ways to slow down traffic on the busy artery.We need to widen the roadway and avoid all obstacles (parking, stairways) at the same time its not an easy thing to do, said Todd Landry, a senior engineer with the town. Right now it varies from 24 to 28 feet wide, and this project will widen it to 32 feet.The new width will accommodate two 11-foot traffic lanes and two 5-foot bicycle lanes, he said.Project Manager Andy Alvarado of Bickett Engineering said the road work would also rehabilitate the streets surface.This will re-establish the surface life of the pavement for just two miles, Alvarado said. It will involve taking off 3 inches of asphalt and replacing it. Town staff and Bickett engineering have also begun planning drainage improvements while the town waits for Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Army corps of Engineers requirements for runoff management, Landry said.
While the project focuses on creating new bike lanes and addressing stormwater issues, many Donner Lake residents wanted to see steps taken to slow down drivers in the area.Donner Lake resident Emilie Kashtan said she would like traffic-calming features to be included in the project.This has become a residential area and we deserve not to have someone racing at 60 miles per hour down our street, Kashtan said.She suggested features that would narrow the traffic corridor and crosswalks to slow motorists down.Reducing traffic speed would also reduce air and noise pollution, she said.Charles White, owner of Donner Lake Realty, suggested stop signs at the intersection of Donner Pass Road and South Shore Drive, and others attending the meeting wanted to see stop signs in other areas to slow traffic.Landry said current town policy doesnt call for the use of stop signs to calm traffic, but other strategies would be considered as the project progresses. Alvarado said the intersection of South Shore and Donner Pass will be improved to increase traffic safety.There are a lot of traffic accidents there, probably because it is more of a wye and want to re-shape it like a tee, Alvarado said.
Landry said if the town receives environmental permits from Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and the Army corps of Engineers this summer, a second public meeting with more finalized plans would be held in the late summer.After that, the contract for the project would go to bid in the late fall or early winter, and the project would be ready to begin by May of next year, he said.
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