Bike friendly — in what way, South Lake Tahoe?

Bike friendly wasn’t the phrase that came to mind while riding the South Lake Tahoe bike trail (on Earth Day of all days) that goes behind Meeks Lumber, by the Upper Truckee Marsh, through neighborhoods and farther west paralleling Highway 50.

Definitely take a mountain bike. The cracks are so wide it is like riding on one of the many streets in the city.

Sue Wood is stopped April 22 by the debris along a bike trail in South Tahoe. Photo/Kathryn Reed

And crossing the wood bridge over Trout Creek is a bit scary. The boards bounce. I saw them as I watched a couple cyclists in front of me. I don’t remember this happening last year.

As you head east, slow down as you come to Sussex Avenue. A mound of snow is there blocking the bike path, along with chunks of asphalt and other debris and muck. Sussex is off Rubicon Trail, which is a block off Highway 50.

And to think South Lake Tahoe has the designation of being a bike friendly town. It must be in sign only.

May is national bike month. Does South Lake Tahoe realize this, or even care?

— Kathryn Reed


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Comments (17)
  1. ben says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    we dont even have a town with a town hall. who the – is the mayor?

  2. Todd says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    Mayor is Claire Fortier. City website contact for her has [email protected] and (530) 314-9159.

  3. Steven says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    I always thought the ” bike friendly” was in sign only. The designation always amazed me.

  4. 30yrlocal says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    The biggest question here is: who is responsible for the bike trails through town? Does anyone have it as a budget item?

    Measure R was going to have a committee to make recommendations to JPA, where does that stand? Are monies going to be dispersed for getting this paths upgraded now?

    Would be nice though if people stopped pointing fingers and waiting for someone else to fix problems and get out there and help. Take a shovel or rake out on your bike ride and clear what’s blocking the path. Why wait for Clean Tahoe day in June? There are enough biking groups in town to organize a bike path clean up day.

  5. buster57 says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    right on 30yr local. if as many people that pointed out problems, actually chipped in and helped we wouldn’t have so many. take a picture before and then after you cleaned it up.

  6. Sandy says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    What local or tourist would ride a bike with a shovel? Be reasonable people. Patches of snow on a trail is one thing; allowing people to pile snow to block a trail is another. What about finding out who did this and not letting it happen again? This is a city street. Where is the city in all of this? Because a cyclist sees an impediment doesn’t make it her responsibility to clean it up.

  7. Shenja says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    Last time I checked this town needs to watch very closely how we spend our money and besides we live in the mountains . When did a little snow or mud stop u from getting to work… Deal with it and find something more important to complain about like our wast of a giant hole in the ground!

  8. Chief Slowroller says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    you folks voted to give the bike trail money to the Little League Fields

    so dont expect any maintenance now or in the future

  9. Dogula says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    Why DO you always agree to pay more in taxes or fees to government whenever they say it’s for the children or for recreation? How many times must the citizens be fooled before they figure it out?

  10. fromform says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    totally agree dogula. this ‘it’s for the kids’ schtick is just extortion. remember when they had kids calling us up before the school bond vote?

  11. Citizen Kane says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    actually the Forest Service bike trail running out to Spring Creek from the Y is getting broken up as well – there are numerous cracks that present a hazard espcially to small children. It has been like this for years and continues to get worse, but the Forest Service even calls this a “national recreation trail” – meanwhile we are trying to build a round the lake trail? how about finding a way to maintain what we already have. And people wonder why the economy is dead here – its because we offer the visitors we depend on like —-! This isnt the only place with a view and we better figure that out fast.

  12. Steven says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    And what about the Meyers to Stateline trail that CTC wants to build? They build and walk away without any maintenance plan in place. They will expect the city or county to maintain what the CTC builds. When built, it will quickly become more falling apart crap.

  13. Hangs Ups From Way Back says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    The CTC can’t even keep grocery baskets out the filter ponds,do you really expect them to do Bike trail revamp?

    People need to stand back,our streets are dangerous,I’ve seen senior citizens get their feet caught in the cracks in the road asphalt, fall down on many occasions.
    It’s nice to think of all the wrongs that are run down , under maintenance,but until someone can get the grant money out the accounts and to the people it more less Stay’s with the agencies that cost more for them to count,track,than it does to spend.Bureaucracy is a catch 22 reality.

  14. Tom Wendell says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    These are valid observations and I’m afraid the news only gets worse.

    This situation on Sussex Ave. and the huge cracks on the path have existed for years. It is the city of SLT that pushes the snow there as this is a dead end street. There is a large vacant lot directly to the south of that location which could easily accomodate the snow, however, the large boulders that block access to that lot would have to be moved…at least for the winter.

    The city street supervisor was informed of this situation at the April 4 Sustainability Commission meeting. This was followed up with photos of the problem and potential alternative snow storage site e-mailed on April 10 to a city staffer with a request to forward to the street superisor. My e-mail inquiry early this afternoon to the street supervisor as to why nothing has been done, went unanswered as of this evening.

    The boards on the Truckee River bridge (which is west of Sussex and I assume what the article refered to) which were badly worn making for a teeth chattering ride were recently turned over to expose their smoother underside. The ride is much smoother but the boards are not bolted to the bridge frame so they move and “bounce”. Upon closer inspection, I found many boards cracked all the way through so you could see the river below. Perhaps this is why they were not bolted as that would likely worsen the integrity of all the boards. It’s also possible that the heavy boards (rail-road ties) were never bolted to the frame and the now rough underside does not seat well on the frame causing the bounce. Though I’ve not ridden it lately, I assume the same is true of the Trout Creek birdge just east of Meeks.

    30 year local’s inquiry as to Measure R and the bike path committee assembled to advise the JPA opens another can of worms. The meetings of the JPA board and its’ bike path and field committees are supposed to be “publically noticed” yet there is no mention of the meeting schedule on the city website and even a Google search took me on a wild goose chase back to the dead end at the city web site. A call to Supervisor Norma Santiago, who is the chair of the JPA, yeilded no info as she is in Washington and her assistant was out of the office today. A phone call to Councilman Hal Cole, who also sits on the JPA board, got me no further as he was stumped as to why the meeting schedule was not readibly accessable and directed me to the city clerk who posts all meetings. My call to the clerks office was also not returned today. It took Cheryl, a pleasent and concerned staffer at the city recreation dept. to find the meeting schedule posted at the rec. center by the JPA’s lone paid staffer, John Upton. Why this schedule has not been made more publically available is a question that needs to be answered. Here’s the committee meeting schedule…thanks to Cheryl: fields committee meets at the airport on April 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. Bike trails committee meets at the airport on May 9 from 9 to 11 a.m.

    As for the suggestion that cyclists should do the maintenance makes as much sense as expecting motorists to fix our pathetic roads. Several local orgs. like the Sierra Nevada Alliance and the former TRAC (Tahoe Region Advocates for Cycling) have conducted bike path clean-ups. I participated in the SNA one last year and brought my own push brooms which required the use of my bike trailer. We pay our taxes…including Measure R do this work and it should not be incumbent on trail users to do this.

    It is sadly true that South Lake Tahoe is bike friendly in sign only.

  15. Richard says - Posted: April 23, 2012

    We are SO not bike friendly in SLT. Hardly any businesses in town have bike racks, when I mentioned to Raley’s at the Y that a bike rack would be a good idea, they laughed it off. Post office? No. Casinos? Nah. And do not ride a road bike on the trail near Taylor Creek, or you will end up with a flat tire or bent rims. It’s pretty pathetic, really.

  16. buster57 says - Posted: April 24, 2012

    i agree about the bike rack situaiton but you are wrong about raleys. there is one right next to the door to peets and gets used a lot. thats nice to have the bike trail meeting at 9-11 am when most people can’t attend any public meetings should be at night when most of the public can attend. again i don’t hear any solutions and i don’t have any right now either. so you walk your bike over the bridge is that such a big deal.

  17. Tom Wendell says - Posted: April 25, 2012

    Before this story falls off the radar, here’s the latest on the posting of the Rec. Facilities JPA and it’s committees meeting schedules.
    They are not posted on any website at this time. According to the city clerks office, the only two places that the meeting schedules are currently posted are at the city hall (airport) and the rec. center. Seems kinda archaic in this- the wired age when the public should have access to this info without necessitating finding a flyer at some across-town location.
    Anyway, if you wish to be notified by e-mail, contact John Upton at: [email protected] .
    If this seems as backward to you as it does to me, let Mr. Upton and the JPA board members know how you feel about it.
    These are public meetings and they deal with how your tax money is spent on major recreational and transportation infrastructure…facilities and amenities that can have a major positive economic, social and health impact on our community. If you can’t make these meetings yourself, find a representative among your group who can voice your opinions. The only way to get things done right here…or anywhere it seems, is to monitor every move that any govermental body makes with YOUR money!