To pave or not to pave Truckee trails | SierraSun.com

To pave or not to pave Truckee trails

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Deciding whether to pave or not to pave Truckee’s trail system has become a focal point of Truckee’s Trails and Bikeways Master Plan update.

Local stakeholders formed a public advisory committee to survey public attitudes about Truckee’s potential trails and what kind of surface the trails should have. Streamline Consulting Group and the Truckee Trails compiled the results of the public input, which will be considered by the town when adopting the update.

“Truckee’s trail network is not only important for recreation but as an alternative transportation network as well.” said Executive Director Leigh Fitzpatrick of the Truckee Trails Foundation. “It can provide nice alternatives to riding on the streets.”

According to the summary report, residents indicated an “extremely high” use of Truckee’s trails, and expressed interest in using trails as an alternative to go to work, school or to run errands. Many liked the option of having both paved and unpaved trails along the same route.

The committee reviewed the town’s existing plan, which contains 43 trail segments, Fitzpatrick said, added three additional trails, and then tried to come to a consensus on how each trail should be surfaced.

“We came to a consensus on 29 trails if they should be paved, unpaved or both. Both would have unpaved shoulders or parallel trails,” he said, referring to the third option of including paved and unpaved surfaces on the same trail.

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Of the remaining trails, 12 are already under construction, Fitzpatrick said, and the other five are segments of the Truckee River Legacy Trail.

“On the five segments that make up the Legacy Trail we didn’t get 100 percent agreement, so we made no recommendation,” Fitzpatrick said.

The debate over paving the Truckee River Legacy Trail may come down to a town council decision, he said, but the town will have to work with individual property owners along the trail to implement whatever decision is reached.

According to the report, parallel paved and earthen trails may be appropriate for the Legacy Trail, because while the original vision for the trail was unpaved, a paved trail may be more useful for alternative transportation needs, especially from the Glenshire area into town.

He said the Nevada County Bicycle Master Plan update will likely incorporate the town’s plan, but the two updates are proceeding for different reasons.

“Nevada County needs to do this to stay current for state funding,” Fitzpatrick said. “But in our update the real motive is working with developers to implement these trails.”

By working with developers, the town can get trails funded and constructed as the developments come on line, he said.