Downtown Truckee intersection planning moves forward | SierraSun.com

Downtown Truckee intersection planning moves forward

Hannah Jones
hjones@sierrasun.com

Officials are taking the next step toward relieving downtown traffic congestion with the input of community members.

On Tuesday, the Truckee Town Council established a Project Advisory Committee to help guide the reconstruction process of Bridge Street intersections at Donner Pass Road and East and West River Street.

"They come from different backgrounds such as a local engineer, as well as residents in the nearby neighborhood, a representative from the Railyard and downtown business owner," said Jessica Thompson senior engineer.

Morgan Goodwin, Phoebe Landre, Bill Kenny, Stefan Schuster, Michael Monroe, Paul Schectman, Stefanie Olivieri, Jason Hansford, Judith Zachariasen will all sit on the committee and provide input to town staff on the project scope, different design alternatives and elements such as light fixtures, sidewalks and benches.

"We plan on having the committee meet in the next few weeks to start the process," said Thompson. In the weeks following the first meeting, the committee will be looking at the varied scenarios and narrowing them down. Thompson said they should be able to come up with five different alternatives in the next two months. Committee meetings will also be open to the public.

According to a town staff report, both intersections are currently at the lowest level of operation due to stop-and-go conditions. However, the town has deemed the intersections acceptable for now.

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In June, the council awarded a contract to Eastern Sierra Engineering for $608,635 to review the situation and draft an improvement plan. The project also aims at addressing the feasibility of establishing a quiet zone at the railroad crossing between the two intersections, which would eliminate the requirement of a train whistle when trains approach the crossing.

Currently the traffic traveling northbound on Bridge Street does not stop, in order to keep the tracks clear.

"This makes crossing the street as a pedestrian unappealing, creating a gap in the connectivity between the downtown core and the Railyard," an Eastern Sierra Engineering report states.

The report suggests additional physical improvements would be needed to increase pedestrian safety and mitigate traffic congestion, including sidewalk installation on the east side of Bridge Street with a crosswalk across the tracks and the potential installation of roundabouts at the intersections.

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