Dollars for decongestion: Placer County receives grant to develop transportation plan | SierraSun.com

Dollars for decongestion: Placer County receives grant to develop transportation plan

Hannah Jones
hjones@sierrasun.com

Placer County is looking to tackle traffic congestion along State Routes 28, 267 and 89, which make up the Resort Triangle area.

The county was recently awarded a $600,000 grant from Caltrans through California’s gas tax, to develop a Resort Triangle Transportation Plan. Once completed the plan will provide a path to address traffic congestion, transportation demand, parking management, and ways to reduce the number of vehicle trips drivers are taking.

“One of the elements of the grant is to really look at transportation demand management,” said Stephanie Holloway, senior civil engineer for Placer County. “How we get people out of their cars and into alternative modes.”

Holloway said managing traffic congestion is a main focus within the grant. “Its focused on how we manage those roadways better and how we adapt to peak travel periods,” said Holloway.

The grant is also focused on parking management specifically in Kings Beach and Tahoe City.

“We’ve found that supply and management of parking has proven to have a dramatic effect on transportation mode choice,” said Holloway.

The plan is meant to follow up the existing Tahoe Basin Area Plan. “It’s really intended to be a how to for development projects related to transportation,” said Holloway. The region the plan covers encompasses two planning organizations, Placer County and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Holloway said the county plans to lead the project for a smooth implementation. She said they hope to begin work on it as soon as possible.

Trails in transit

The plan will also include improvements to bus stops to entice ridership on the regional transit system as well as trail improvements. The county plans to eventually complete a trail that loops around the resort triangle, from Tahoe City to Kings Beach to Truckee and back up Highway 89 to Tahoe City.

Currently a paved trail exists from Dollar Point through Tahoe City to Squaw Valley resort. The trail picks back up in Truckee at the Legacy Bike Trail and stops near the Truckee Airport. The Resort Triangle trail project aims to connect all sections of the trail, allowing residents and visitors an alternative form of transportation around North Lake Tahoe.

In October, an additional 2.2-mile of paved trail opened extending from the existing trail in Tahoe City from Dollar Drive along State Route 28 to Fulton Crescent Drive. The new edition of the 10-foot wide trail expanded the lakeside trail system to connect the neighborhoods of Cedar Flats and Highlands into Tahoe City and Squaw Valley.

This portion of the trail was the first addition the county had made to the trail since 2012. Before the addition a trail existed from Dollar Point through Tahoe City, south 10 miles to Sugar Pine Point State Park and from Tahoe City to Squaw Valley Resort. The trail picks back up in Truckee at the Legacy Bike Trail and stops near the Truckee Airport.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or hjones@sierrasun.com.