Roundabouts, bike lanes envisioned for major Truckee road project | SierraSun.com

Roundabouts, bike lanes envisioned for major Truckee road project

Josh Staab | jstaab@sierrasun.com
This simulation of the Envision DPR proposal represents extensive streetscaping, including on both the sidewalk and center median of Donner Pass Road, as seen here in front of the Truckee Donner PUD building.
Courtesy Town of Truckee |

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Residents got their first look last week at the vision town planners have for a major renovation of a large portion of Donner Pass Road.

The Envision DPR project proposes a number of improvements on Truckee’s busiest road between the McIver roundabout near Brickelltown and Cold Stream Road on the west end of town near Donner Memorial State Park.

The first phase of construction wouldn’t occur until 2016, but there is plenty of footwork necessary first before any work can occur, said Becky Bucar, a town engineering manager on the project.

During a public meeting on July 29 featuring roughly 50 people, residents raised questions concerning inclusion of bicycle lanes, emergency vehicle access and how a road already impacted by daily ingress and egress fare fair in the winter when access to Interstate 80 is unavailable.

“I think in general people seemed interested,” Bucar said. “It’s an important section of town.”

Bucar added while many of the attendees lobbied critical questions related to the proposal, she believed there isn’t an overwhelming sense residents are against it.

Many of the questions concerned the types of improvements that should be included in the overall master plan (landscaping, sidewalks, medians, parking, etc.), as well as where on-street parking should be maintained.

Project staff presented visual surveys, asking community members if they would prefer to see roundabouts or traffic signals at key intersections along the corridor.

The majority of community members said they prefer roundabouts to traffic signals.

A second survey provided a visual representation of what the corridor could look like with different improvements. All the visual simulations included sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and travel lanes.

The two that garnered most of the attention were the ones with landscaping between the sidewalk and the bicycle lanes.

One simulation shows a center-landscaped median, and the other keeps the existing full-corridor-length, left-hand-turn lane.

The first phase of construction would be partially funded by a $1.5 million grant from the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program, Bucar said.

Improvements would likely include streetscape beautification, new and upgraded sidewalks, crossings and bike lanes, as well as improved traffic flow and calming.

Town staff plans to gather more input at Truckee Thursdays events, and potentially through a survey on the project website http://www.EnvisionDPR.com.

The next step will be developing at least three conceptual alternatives, Bucar said, which will incorporate input offered during the first workshop. Those concepts could be ready for presentation during a second workshop this November.

Based on that workshop, Bucar said planners would likely be able to draft up a proposed master plan for the project, which requires future approval by Truckee Town Council.

Considering the project is in early stages, overall cost estimates are unknown.

To provide further input, officials suggest visiting TownofTruckee.com or filling out a comment card at a future event. Emails can be sent to Assistant Engineer Scott Mathot at smathot@townoftruckee.com.