Expanding cycling throughout Nevada County | SierraSun.com

Expanding cycling throughout Nevada County

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Nevada County planners are working to create a bicycle-friendly infrastructure inside and outside of Truckee.

The Nevada County Bicycle Master Plan Update will take both incorporated towns and unincorporated areas into account in identifying potential areas for bicycle routes. Any bicycle-related project included in the master plan will then be eligible for state funding, said Mike Woodman, Nevada County transportation planner.

The county-wide plan will incorporate Truckee’s Trails and Bikeways Master Plan, which was first drafted in April 2002, Woodman said.

“In order to be eligible for state funds, the plan has to be less than four to five years old, and the town’s is reaching that,” Woodman said.

The county update will fulfill the town’s requirement for an updated plan, he said.

Woodman said the new plan will build on Truckee’s and use input from the community, bike-advocacy groups and local government bodies including the Town of Truckee.

Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said that the county’s original plan was drafted before Truckee’s, so the update could allow Truckee to integrate its goals and efforts into the county plan.

“The benefit of this update is to closely coordinate with our plan and to keep us eligible for state funding,” Lashbrook said.

The new plan will incorporate and refine the connections Truckee’s plan targeted for areas outside the town, Lashbrook said.

“Hopefully the county plan will recognize the appropriate routes and bike lanes in our plan,” he said.

Dan Landon, executive director for the Nevada County Transportation Commission, said Truckee’s Trails and Bikeways Master Plan would probably dictate 99 percent of the county plan for eastern Nevada County.

“It’s my understanding that Truckee has a good plan in place. So in all likelihood, it will be carried over the same,” Landon said.

Creating connections between Truckee and surrounding unincorporated communities will be a priority, Woodman said.

The new master plan will primarily focus on bicycle transportation facilities, rather than on recreational paths, Woodman said, but some recreational paths ” including possible connections between eastern and western county ” may be considered.

Paco Lindsay, owner of Paco’s Bike and Ski, said the local advocacy groups Truckee Area Road Bike Advocates and Truckee Tahoe Bike Coalition are focused on Highway 89 north.

“We are looking at 89 north as far as humanly possible to be as bike friendly as possible,” Lindsay said.

Truckee Area Road Bike Advocates would like to see bike lanes go from the Highway 267 bypass to Alder Creek Road at a minimum, he said.

Lindsay said he had been involved in focus groups on improving county bicycle infrastructure.

The county has received a number of proposals from private consultants for work on the master plan, and a consultant should be selected next week, Woodman said.

If the selection process goes smoothly and work on the master plan begins in December, the update could be complete by July or August, Woodman said.