New bike lanes planned for Donner Lake
New bike lanes planned for this summer will help complete Donner Lake’s bicycle access, but not before parking, water runoff and right-of-way issues are addressed.
Construction on two, five-foot wide bike lanes on either side of Donner Pass Road between Moraine Road and South Shore Drive is planned to begin this summer. The lane design will have to contend with road alignment, parking, and drainage issues along the lake.
“In my opinion those lanes are a top priority,” said Leigh Fitzpatrick, the executive director of the Truckee Trails Foundation. “With the recent completion of the [trail] section at China Cove, these lanes will create a nice lap around the lake for people to take.”
Truckee Senior Engineer Todd Landry said Donner Pass Road will be widened to a total of 32 feet to accommodate the new lanes, and construction could begin in July or August, and possibly end before Oct. 15.
“It will be a tight schedule to complete this during the coming construction season,” Landry said.
He said the project will probably cost around $2.5 million, depending on how much additional construction of paved parking and runoff management is needed.
One issue the town will need to address is the manner in which some structures encroach in the public right-of-way, like stairways along the road, Landry said.
“There are stairs on the north side of the road that should be 10 feet back from the road but aren’t,” Landry said. “We may have to impact some of those structures, but our goal is to snake an alignment through there that avoids the stairs.”
The second issue the project will come up against is drainage, starting with runoff from Interstate 80, Landry said. He said none of the storm water runoff on Donner Pass Road is currently being treated, but the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board may require new construction to include treatment.
Runoff treatment involves a trap for sediment so it doesn’t wash into the lake, Landry said.
Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said parking along the lake will also be an issue.
“What’s in the balance is the parking between the road and the lake,” Lashbrook said. “The informal parking will be reduced.”
Landry said in order to compensate, some paved parking areas may be included in the project.
He said a series of public meetings will be scheduled regarding the project to increase public awareness and receive public input.
“The reality is some people will be impacted by this but we are going to do the best we can,” Landry said.
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