By Kathryn Reed
Connecting Nevada from Stateline on the south to Crystal Bay on the north via a bicycle route is gaining momentum.
Known as the Stateline-to-Stateline route, the roughly 30-mile stretch has demonstration projects that will be built before the core center section. One is in the Incline-Sand Harbor area, the other from Stateline to Round Hill.
As part of the environmental analysis, a scoping session for the southern section is slated for Sept. 10 from 6-8pm at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency offices; 128 Market St., Stateline.
The northern demo project is lagging behind the southern route a bit. Design of the southern segment is slated for this winter.
The purpose of this 3-mile route, which is proposed to be a 10-foot wide paved path with 2-foot shoulders on both sides, is to link recreation and community facilities with a non-motorized route.
According to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and U.S. Forest Service (which are two of the partners in the project), “Separated bicycle facilities are not available along most of the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. The proposed South Demonstration Project would provide a spectacular recreation opportunity to link the Stateline community and its casino core to public beaches and coves along the picturesque east shore up to Round Hill Pines Beach. Currently, these popular recreation areas are generally accessed by automobile.”
A meeting about the entire route was conducted in mid-summer. Three alternative routes were presented on a series of maps. Those in attendance left comments about what they liked and didn’t like. A mix of land owners, cyclists and those with a general interest showed up to give input.
Some of the obstacles facing trail builders are steep grades and private property.
A cantilever bridge around Cave Rock has been proposed since the get-go. Scott Morgan with Douglas County Parks Department said it would be cheaper to bore another hole into Cave Rock for a 5-foot wide bike lane than to build the bridge. How that section of the route will be navigated is still up for grabs.
The rock is a sacred place for the Washoe Indians, so their input is likely to be great.
Some people mentioned a desire to follow the old Lincoln Highway. Pros and cons of going through Glenbrook were written down. Goshawk concerns were raised.
Comments on the South Shore demo project will be accepted until 5pm Sept. 21. Send them to the above address, attention Melissa Shaw. Project information is at www.nvtahoebikeway.com or, (775) 589.5242, or (530) 543.2762.