Opinion: Fanny Bridge project appeals to Tahoe City community
Special to the Sun
We are property owners of two parcels at the “Wye” area in Tahoe City. I have been a member of the community for over 50 years.
As a property owner directly affected by the Fanny Bridge Revitalization Project, I was asked to participate in a community advisory group that held a series of community meetings over the past year or so on the project.
While there was no consensus regarding the preferred alternatives studied by the consultants that were favored by the community advisory group, it is clear that a number of alternatives were rejected out of hand, including alternatives 2, 3 and 4.
By the end of our meetings, there were two distinct camps — a minority group preferring either alternative 6 or 6A, with a fallback of alternative 5 (no project), and the majority supporting alternative 1, with a number of conditions.
After a number of winter seasons with marginal snow conditions, the current economy in Tahoe City is quite fragile. There is a general fear that a project that redirects Highway 89 will further impact our economy.
With that in mind, in meetings a number of local citizens, including myself, spoke with members of the Tahoe Transportation District, the architects from Wood Rodgers and the landscape contractor.
We stressed the importance of the following elements to be included in the final design and project in order to receive our support.
These are my comments. I am not authorized to speak on behalf of the community advisory group:
1. Bring the boundaries of Tahoe City out to the roundabouts being constructed with sidewalks extending to them. When we constructed sidewalks in Tahoe City a number of years ago, we incorporated the use of granite accents, benches, planter boxes, street trees and distinct light poles throughout town. We would like those elements, including the construction of paver sidewalks to be incorporated in the project as you drive into Tahoe City from the proposed west shore roundabout along what is the current highway 89. We would like them incorporated from the proposed roundabout being constructed along Highway 28 from the new intersection of highway 89 and 28.
2. Highway signage at the West Shore roundabout should identify using the existing road, West Lake Blvd, (which will become a public road maintained by Placer County) if drivers are intending to travel to Tahoe City and North Lake Tahoe. Signage there should also note that if you intend to travel to Truckee or I-80, take the new alignment. In addition, put the existing large custom-made “Tahoe City” signs that were designed by local, Lolly Kupec, and put them in the middle of each roundabout to act as a gateway feature acknowledging that you are now entering Tahoe City.
3. Maintain the free right-turn lanes, albeit making them narrower at the current “Wye” so we will still have a “Wye” (The “Wye” is as important of an identifying element as Fanny Bridge is to Tahoe City). This will allow us to remove a couple of lanes of asphalt at the “T” intersection in front of SaveMart. I hope the project will also remove one of the left turn lanes on highway 28 that take you to Fanny Bridge and down the west shore. These are important conditions because they will allow us to remove asphalt, increase vegetation and bring the river district into the core of Tahoe City and encourage more pedestrian and bicycle transit through this area of town.
I reiterate; I am not speaking on behalf of the community advisory group. The comments reflect what occurred at meetings I attended with the consultants as well as my observations at the community advisory meetings.
Roger Kahn is a Tahoe City resident.
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