Truckee sets position on college traffic plans | SierraSun.com

Truckee sets position on college traffic plans

Sierra Countis
Sierra Sun

Today is the deadline to submit written comments regarding the Sierra College Truckee campus draft environmental impact report.

College officials held a public meeting at Truckee Town Hall last week to address concerns area residents have about the proposed campus project. The low public turnout at the meeting didn’t lead to much discussion between college officials and members of the community. However, the issue of additional traffic on Highway 89 south with the construction of a left-hand turn lane to access the college is a main concern for Town of Truckee officials.

“The Town just spent $4 million on the new roundabouts at SR89/I-80,” Truckee Mayor Beth Ingalls wrote to Woodrow Wilson, director of planning for Sierra College, in the town’s comments about the campus. “The . . . access design may cause the operation of [the roundabouts] to fail (particularly the northbound merger) sooner than would otherwise occur due to the U-turns from the college.”

Ingalls went on to say that if Caltrans allows for the turn lane, it is the town’s position that it “should not be expected to contribute towards further improvements at the roundabouts (such as a new right-turn bypass lanes, etc.) to address the long-term traffic impacts of the college.”

Paul Disario, Sierra College interim director of facilities development, acknowledged the concerns about traffic, which were also voiced at last week’s meeting.

“As far as I can see the issues are the same,” Disario said.

In other comments for the final EIR, the town requested updated photosimulations of the proposed pedestrian/bike path that would cross Donner Creek, tree removal post project and fuel breaks.

“We’re working on the photos right now,” Disario said.

A proposed lower parking lot at the bottom of McIver Hill was deemed unnecessary by the town. The parking lot has since been taken out of college construction plans, Disario said.

The college plans to address the concern over campus lighting when classes are not in session. According to town comments, there is concern about visible parking lot lights and interior lights when classroom are not being used. Disario said the college is aware of the concerns.

He said the college will abide by the town’s air quality mitigation.

Sierra College will present the final environmental impact report to the Town Council on July 11 for approval. College officials said they hope to begin construction by mid-August.