Reimagining Bridge Street: Intersection, pedestrian improvements planned for downtown Truckee | SierraSun.com

Reimagining Bridge Street: Intersection, pedestrian improvements planned for downtown Truckee

Submitted to the Sierra Sun

The Town of Truckee’s “Reimagine Bridge Street: Linking Downtown” project is exploring intersection improvement alternatives for Bridge Street at Donner Pass Road and East/West River streets.

According to a news release, the project is geared to improve pedestrian safety and circulation and will maintain or improve current traffic operations.

Among the project’s goals are to: implement sidewalks and at least one protected crosswalk including refuge islands, stop signs or signals; maintain or improve traffic flow with or without a train present; designate a quiet zone, which would eliminate the requirement for engineers to sound the train horn when approaching the track crossing; and protect historic buildings from being removed.

Town representatives assembled a Public Advisory Committee made up of residents, business owners and developers to gather input in the development and review process of 18 proposed intersection alternatives. Alternatives were categorized into four major groups: minor improvements, roundabouts, traffic signals and roadway reconfiguration.

One top alternative has been selected from each intersection improvement category and at this time the Town is requesting input from the community. Residents are encouraged to view video simulations of each project alternative and select their favorite option by taking a survey and submitting questions and comments at townoftruckee.com/ReimagineBridgeStreet.

Four Alternatives

Minor improvements: Propose slight changes to existing intersections including adding sidewalks and quiet zone improvements like a refuge island between crosswalks. These improvements will provide connected sidewalks and protected crosswalks on seven of the eight approaches to the intersections.

Single-lane roundabouts: Propose roundabouts at both intersections with railroad pre-emption signals on all approaches. This alternative allows for optimum vehicle flow without a train present and provides protected pedestrian paths at all crossings but does not provide a bypass option with a train present, will potentially clog intersections with railroad gates down and will cause private property and building impacts.

Traffic signals: Propose installing smart traffic signals at both intersections, which will be coordinated with the railroad gates to allow traffic to continue to flow regardless of train activity. Signals also include protected, regulated pedestrian crossings at all intersections but do add some delay at all times, as opposed to the current free-flowing traffic movement.

Roadway reconfigurations: Propose closing Bridge Street to vehicles and only allowing bicycle and pedestrian access. This alternative includes a new roundabout at the McIver Crossing and West River Street intersection. Traffic operations function similarly to current intersections with a train present but closing Bridge Street to vehicles would call for regional traffic pattern changes and may impact the existing McIver roundabout capacity long-term.

To watch video simulations of each alternative, take the survey and leave questions or comments visit townoftruckee.com/ReimagineBridgeStreet.