Placer reduces Kings Beach street parking | SierraSun.com

Placer reduces Kings Beach street parking

Julie Brown
Sierra Sun
Sierra Sun file illustrationAlternative 2 of the proposed Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project features two travel lanes, one turning lane, roundabouts, sidewalks and seasonal on-highway parking. Placer County has modified Alternative 2 to meet Caltrans requirements.
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Placer County has reduced the number of highway parking spots proposed in the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project.

The change assures that Caltrans will find acceptable the county’s preferred option of three lanes and roundabouts to makeover the aging North Shore community’s main thoroughfare.

Responding to an October letter from Caltrans that said Alternative 2 “would not be acceptable,” Placer County staff went back to the drawing board to fine-tune the alternative that includes sidewalks, seasonal on-highway parking, two travel lanes and a center turning lane.

The modified alternative now features 63 seasonal on-highway parking spaces, with 135 spots relocated to the residential streets behind the downtown corridor. The remaining roadside parking will still be restricted during the peak summer months.

“I really appreciate the fact that we were able to sit down” with Caltrans, said Placer Director of Public Works Ken Grehm in a phone interview last week. “We’ve been able to come up with something that we think is reasonable.”

The modified Alternative 2, with its reduced on-highway parking, is now qualified to win the approval of Caltrans, an official with the state transportation agency stated in a Dec. 19 letter.

“I concur with the determination that 63 parking spaces … would not create a significant impact to the operations of the facility, when compared to Alternative 4,” Caltrans District Director Jody Jones wrote in the letter. “The modified alternative will be allowed as a viable alternative that would be acceptable to Caltrans.”

While Caltrans stated that the proposed changes to Alternative 2 and Alternative 4, which also features roundabouts and three-lanes, make those options acceptable, the state agency still finds Alternative 3, featuring four lanes and stoplights, “operationally superior and is recommended by Caltrans,” the letter stated.

Caltrans’ primary interest lies in the road’s safety and operations, said Project Manager Rebecca Mowry. From that point of view, the four-lane option is the traffic agency’s preferred alternative.

Caltrans’ approval of the modified Alternative 2 would require that they sign off on a comprehensive Parking Management Plan that would outline the peak period when roadside parking is prohibited and review the county’s enforcement methods.

After reducing Alternative 2’s on-highway parking, Placer County staff noted that some of their concerns with the roadside spaces also apply to the four-lane alternative.

Some roadside parking spots may impair the line of sight for drivers pulling into the highway. The county is also looking to relocate such parking spots in the four-lane alternative, Grehm said.

“The analysis we went through will affect the four-lane [alternative] also,” Grehm said. “To what extent, I don’t know yet.”