Making Kings Beach pedestrian-friendly
October 4, 2006
Talk of redevelopment and reinvestment in Kings Beach has many residents excited that their town will get a facelift, but planning a community that is pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly is a priority for many.Nearly 50 community members from Kings Beach, Incline Village and Truckee showed up for a workshop at the Boys & Girls Club in Kings Beach Tuesday night to find out how to make their community more walkable and livable. The workshop was hosted by the Design Committee of the North Tahoe Business Association.Paul Zykofsky of the nonprofit Local Government Committee, based in Sacramento, ran the two-hour workshop, giving participants a basic insight into urban planning and a history of how neighborhoods have evolved from being a mix of homes and businesses to segregation of communities.Growth has been a dirty word for so many years because we didnt do it properly, Zykofsky said. Look at the way neighborhoods are built, and very rarely can you walk to the store. The goal is to get back to old neighborhood planning. Zykofsky said society has become carcentric, with everyone having to get in their vehicles to get from one place to another. The freedom and mobility cars are suppose to give us doesnt work if you are stuck in traffic, Zykofsky said.Those who attended said they wanted to live in a community where they could walk or bike to their destinations safely. Participants were anxious to begin talking about the future of Kings Beach, but Zykofsky and others stressed that a basic knowledge of planning is needed before designing the community.People wanted to jump in and design this town, and that is good to see, said Mick Horn, who sits on the NTBA design committee. One of the biggest challenges is the different ideas weve talked about is if one of the agencies doesnt like something then it gets thrown out.Andrew Ryan, an engineer who also sits on the design committee, said he was glad to see so many community members attend.What I hope happens next time is that people will be empowered with knowledge of what is possible so when it comes time to plan and design their downtown theyll be ready, Ryan said.