Ideas overflow for river revitalization
The future of the Truckee River in the downtown corridor is starting to take shape, and it might look something like a figure eight.The Town of Truckee held its second Truckee River Revitalization workshop on Saturday. The town’s ambitious plan looks at how to improve the economic, environmental and recreational potential of the stretch of the Truckee River from its confluence with Donner Creek in the west to its junction with Trout Creek in the east.
“This [Truckee] river is an asset to the community, but it hasn’t been treated that way,” said Tony Lashbrook, Truckee community development director. “A year ago we decided to become more aggressive and make something happen.”With some guidance from Winter and Company – a consultant group that has worked on river revitalization projects across the country – community members had a wealth of ideas for the downtown river corridor in Saturday’s workshop. This included a figure-eight concept, which represented the flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic from the center of the downtown river corridor, looping to the east and west ends of the project area. The figure-eight concept had three main nodes for parking, public transportation and social gathering at each end and in the center of the project area.Public input indicated that the center, which would connect people to downtown and the river via a footbridge, should be the focal point of the revitalization, with businesses, social and recreational opportunities for visitors and locals alike.
Marty Woods, who owns the Cook’s building on the corner of West River Street and Brockway Road, said she agreed with the hub concept, which should link retail to hiking trails along the river.”I thought it was really important to connect the downtown commercial area with West River Street via some sort of pedestrian access,” Woods said. “One way to make it really inviting is to have a pedestrian crossing over the railroad tracks that is a destination, so people would look at it and say ‘I want to go over there.'”
Other ideas discussed in the workshop included river access for canoes and kayaks near the Fish and Game Property on the west end, mixed-use development – including some industrial – just south of the railroad and McIver Hill, and potential railroad and river crossings near the Donner Creek confluence and historic downtown.The Downtown River Revitalization Plan will follow the guidelines set out in the General Plan, the Downtown Specific Plan – which encourages the relocation of industrial businesses off the river – and the Trails and Bikeways Master Plan.The third Truckee River Revitalization Plan workshop will be March 31, 6 p.m., in the town council chambers.