South Tahoe Greenway
South Tahoe Greenway
The proposed South Tahoe Greenway Shared Use Trail will create the backbone of the bicycle and pedestrian network in South Lake Tahoe and will take a major step forward in furthering sustainability goals of the south shore communities. The project area lies within a corridor once destined to hold a freeway, but now will foster alternative transportation better suited to the Region’s sensitive environment and ecotourism based economy. The Greenway will connect residents and visitors to community and recreation destinations, providing a high quality alternative to private automobile use. Reducing individual dependence on the automobile will improve air quality and water quality, reduce the carbon footprint of transportation needs, support the Region’s sustainable economy, and provide access for all segments of the community to healthy outdoor recreation. The Greenway continues the Conservancy’s commitment to implementing the Regional bike trail network as core to its mission of environmental protection, restoration, and preserving public access to outdoor recreation.
The Greenway project includes a continuous separated pathway between the Sierra Tract and Stateline, incorporating a segment of existing trail to make a continuous nearly four mile route. It travels through diverse landscapes, providing both the convenient transportation connections and high quality recreation experience critical to successful trail projects. Preliminary cost estimates for this project are approximately $12 million. Project features include:
- 10’ trail, designed to protect sensitive habitats;
- accessible grades to accommodate all non-motorized user groups;
- trail signage to interpret points of environmental, historic, and scenic importance; and
- related site restoration on lands through which the trail passes.
The Conservancy Board and partner agencies approved the 3.86 mile project in September, 2011 and the project includes several segments. The initial 0.42 mile section was completed in 2015 and links Herbert Avenue and Glenwood Way in the Bijou neighborhood of South Lake Tahoe. Nearly $4 million has been secured to construct the next two phases (Phases 1b & 2) which will cross Trout Creek and Bijou Meadow to connect the Sierra Tract and Bijou neighborhoods. Construction on Phases 1b and 2 is scheduled to begin in 2019. When complete, Phases 1a, 1b, and 2 will create an unbroken 1.8-mile segment by connecting with an existing trail on the Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) campus and connect urban neighborhoods in South Lake Tahoe to shopping, social services, schools, and recreation destinations.
Future phases will continue the trail system northward to the state line and will provide important connections to the largest concentration of visitor services in the region, including shopping, lodging and transit. Completion of this link will also connect the recreation resources at Van Sickle Bi-State Park to the network. A southern trail extension to Meyers, not part of the current project, would complete the transportation link. Future actions will identify the best alternative alignment for this extension.
The Conservancy was awarded a nearly $2 million grant from California’s Active Transportation Program in 2015 for construction of Phases 1b and 2. In preparation for accepting the grant funding, the Conservancy, along with project partners LTCC and the City of South Lake Tahoe, are considering a design modification across Trout Creek and along Barbara Avenue to improve trail connections and reduce environmental impacts. Also, to improve land management and facilitate project delivery, land exchanges in the area between the City, Conservancy, and LTCC are also proposed. Construction of Phases 1b and 2 is expected to begin in 2019.