New trails link Truckee | SierraSun.com

New trails link Truckee

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunAaron Breitbard rides on the bike path to Downtown Truckee from the Prosser area on Friday. The approximate 3-mile bike path was paved last year.

A series of new trails now connect Truckee’s northeastern neighborhoods into town for walkers, runners, and cyclists.

The completed paths are a significant step toward the goal of building 133 new miles of bikeways in Truckee, which was set out in Truckee’s 2007 Trails and Bikeways Master Plan.

The idea is to complete a web of linking paths that connect Truckee neighborhoods and promote bicycle commuting, which the town noted has health and air quality benefits.

The newest pieces of the trail network create off-highway options for people to connect Prosser Lake View, Prosser Heights, Gray’s Crossing, Old Greenwood, Alder Creek Middle School, the Pioneer Commerce Center and downtown Truckee.

“If somebody wants to and lives in those neighborhoods, there is now a good way to get downtown ” to take the family, to run errands, or to get to work,” said John Svahn, executive director of the Truckee Trails Foundation. “This is definitely one of the big ones, it connects a lot to downtown.”

Much of the trail network was built as part of development agreements with Gray’s Crossing and the Pioneer Commerce Center, with Gray’s Crossing developers East West Partners finishing up the downtown connection last fall, said Jeff Butterworth, Gray’s Crossing project manager.

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Last year, during a survey of 144 Nevada County bicyclists, a third of the respondents said they used a bicycle to commute. Those who didn’t cycle to work or on errands cited concerns about limited paths and bike lanes as the main reason for not riding.

“I use it a lot to commute,” said Damara Stone on her way into town Friday. “I don’t like to ride on the roads with my son.”

Also out on the new trail Friday morning, both Aaron Breitbard and Dean Schaecher said they use the trail to commute to work.

Elsewhere in town, neighborhoods still in need of better trail connections for alternative transportation include Glenshire, Tahoe Donner, Ponderosa Palisades/Sierra Meadows and the Brockway corridor, Svahn said.

With an easement secured across the Ponderosa Golf Course, Svahn said a trail along Brockway Road could happen in the next two years.

Other neighborhoods will depend on developments bringing new trails, and the completion of the Truckee River Legacy Trail, which when complete would connect from Glenshire to Donner Lake, Svahn said.

“We’re getting them done, and that’s what’s exciting,” Svahn said.

Work is also underway to connect paved trails from Tahoe Vista to Tahoe City.

The North Tahoe Public Utility District Board gave the go ahead earlier this year for the trail going from Dollar Hill, where it would connect to the Tahoe City trail, to North Tahoe Regional Park.

Environmental review is just beginning, said Kathy Long, parks and facility manager for the utility district, so a series of public meetings will likely be held later in the fall.

If all goes according to plan and the district gets the right funding, construction could begin in 2010, Long said.