Grasshopper Soup: Tahoe City Lakeside Trail officially open
TAHOE CITY, Calif. andamp;#8212; June 21st was a historic day for Tahoe City.The special team of people gathered to accept honors for their role in the design, planning and construction of Tahoe Cityandamp;#8217;s Lakeside Trail not only shared a spectacular stage with Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains, they upstaged the entire lake view, glowing with pride and big smiles in the bright Tahoe sun.They were well-deserving of the sumptuous reception at Jakes, and the fine ceremony, which had a feel of spontaneity, was informal and more moving than ceremonious, and took place on the new Lakeside Trail that has transformed the Tahoe City waterfront. Finally, Tahoe City has the same world class charm you can find in places with other scenic public promenades and plazas designed exclusively (more or less) for pedestrians and bicycles, like McCovey Cove outside ATandamp;T Park in San Francisco, Jack London Square in Oakland, Monterey Harbor and the bike path to Cannery Row. The dedication ceremony included awards, informative speeches, emotional moments, humorous quips, solemn promises and the ribbon cutting ceremony. The entire crowd was made to feel as special as the dignitaries themselves. Just like the hundreds of patient, willing participants in the attempt to make a human link along the new lakeside trail the following Sunday. The turnout was impressive and well worth the effort. The Tahoe City PUD handed out free, Tahoe-blue water bottles, compliments of Auerbach Engineering, that contained a free drink coupon. The human link was close enough to perfect by most standards, at least as far as I could see, which wasnandamp;#8217;t far. There were some gaps in it, but, we can confidently claim that a great human link of some kind did in fact occur, and the missing link is still a mystery.Speaking of missing links, the new trail still has some gaps in it, possibly just one, but it is still easily accessible at that gap from Highway 28 (North Lake Boulevard) or Mackinaw Road behind Swigardandamp;#8217;s Hardware. You can also use Commons Beach Road beside the old Tahoe City fire station, and the Tahoe Marina Lodge property, if you are a resident or a guest there. The Tahoe Marina Lodge is posted private property. They do not want the public to use their property between Mackinaw Road and Commons Beach.It would seem that there is significant commercial advantage, and property value advantages, to be gained by closing the gaps, or gap, and by making the Lakeside Trail a safe, scenic thoroughfare for pedestrians and bicycles all the way from 64 Acres to the Tahoe Recreation Area campground adjacent to the Lighthouse Center. What would really be awesome would be to open the entire waterfront from Fanny Bridge to the east end of Tahoe City, making it a complete Lakeside Trail. Tahoe City, especially the lakefront, could easily become a safe and completely walkable, bikeable area, with the public having complete access to the waterfront. At least thatandamp;#8217;s my dream.This lake is your lake, this lake is my lake, from Zephyr Cove to the Truckee River, from Emerald Bay to Crystal Bay. This lake was made for you and me.It takes thinking outside the box to give the people of the community such a fine gift like the Lakeside Trail. Hopefully a trend has begun of not only thinking outside the box, but of replacing the box with a shared desire to integrate private property and public space. There are times when we must sacrifice individual rights for the public good, but, in my opinion, property rights and the fear of litigation should not dictate our lives.With all due respect to the immense individual and group sacrifices and effort over the decades to build the trail, Swallows Bank should be restored to its original condition, and, if possible, people should be free to climb there. Climbing activity promotes local culture and would be a positive addition to the attractions along the Lakeside Trail.Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.
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