Three lanes in Kings Beach: Residents weigh in on project’s smaller features
KINGS BEACH, Calif. – The community decides. That has been the operating mantra for Dokken Engineering, the Folsom-based engineering firm in charge of designing the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project, which is moving forward this summer with Phase 1.The project’s main purpose is to reconfigure the streetscape through the downtown corridor of Kings Beach, which many officials and residents have deemed unsafe and difficult to negotiate for pedestrians.But along with those large-scale project elements, there are many smaller features to be implemented as part of the large overhaul of the town’s downtown center. Dokken has held numerous public meetings in an attempt to measure public receptivity to a number of the project’s elements.”Public involvement has helped shape certain aspects of the project,” said Brian Stephenson, project engineer with Dokken. “The meetings have helped give the architecture a certain feel that reflects what’s important to the community.”During a May 17 meeting, the public selections of preferred amenities in 13 different categories were revealed – including pavement coloring, streetlight design, type of seating stone, bike rack design, tree wells and gateway signage The public opted for colored concrete paving, the existing streetlight design, a stone seatwall with a rough finish, a large boulder with inlaid lettering dubbed “KINGS BEACH COMMUNITY” to serve as a gateway sign at all three entryways let motorists know they are entering town and one specialty item – a recycled ski lift chair that will function as a bench.Stephenson said Dokken will not necessarily take each preferred option, but will incorporate public preferences into the overall design, which still is in development.Stephenson said residents have indicated they prefer a wide-open design which allows for frequent lake vistas throughout the corridor and small pedestrian plazas where people can gather.Many Kings Beach residents have expressed satisfaction at having their perspectives incorporated throughout the project’s process. “I think (Dokken) has done a great job,” said Dave Polivy, owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports, an outdoor outfitting shop located in the downtown corridor. “They’ve been very thorough and included the business community every step of the way.”Phase 1 The first phase of the three-phase project will focus on installing a number of temporary traffic-calming measures, including 14 speed humps, four traffic circles and a raised crosswalk throughout the neighborhood north of Highway 28 referred to as “The Grid.”The reason the measures are temporary is so traffic engineers can conduct several studies that assess their effectiveness.Peter Kraatz, of Placer County Public Works, said the county has advertised a bid for the project, but has yet to finalize the awarding of the contract – something he anticipates to happen soon.The traffic calming measures will be installed permanently in Phase 2 of the project if they prove effective, he said.