“They paved Paradise and they put up a parking lot … “

We would like to bring you up to date on the proposed construction of a by-pass road from Hwy 89 (at the Cal Trans yard) through the 64 acres connecting to Hwy 28 West Lake Blvd (between Tahoe City and Granlibakken Rd).   I hope that you spend a few moments with this ‘digest’ of what is developing because it is troubling.  We are now likely past the ‘point no return’ … and  a significant environmental degradation is going befall what is left of the 64 -acre parcel.

The Tahoe Transportation District (TTD), the TRPA, Placer County and Cal Trans are completing a six-year effort to drive through what we will call the ‘public process’,  a multi-million dollar ‘by-pass’ from Hwy 89 through the ’64-acre’ parcel to West Lake Blvd just below Granlibakken Rd.   This parcel, on the banks of the Truckee River and bordering a residential neighborhood,  is currently forested save for parking pavement …  and the controversial bus transit center, which we will get to in a moment.  What’s left of this wooded acreage,  popular for recreational access, includes a plantation of Penny Pines planted with plaques by individuals and organizations as memorials, some for 9-11 victims.

The ‘by-pass’ is one of several alternatives (aka Option 1) to resolve the needed rehabilitation of Fanny Bridge to address  the now debatable studies showing ‘increasing’ traffic flow coming into Tahoe City.  These studies have been flawed in their assumptions:  over the past five years there has been a decrease in traffic flow,  traffic impedance, it is now believed, arises from the commercial core (adding the necessity of a substantial round-about at the “Y”), and that traffic congestion is not an issue 95% of the year.  But this project has institutional momentum and these facts have become an inconvenience.

… and there is another option still remaining that is a far-less impactful and infinitely less expensive than a by-pass road, which is to rehabilitate Fanny Bridge widening it to 3 lanes  (Option 6a) with a cantilevered pedestrian sidewalk.

 My take … “The Screwball Uncle in the Attic… “
The presenter on behalf of the Tahoe Transportation Department said that the  process had taken six long years … to develop the plan for a by-pass road through a pleasant stretch of woods along the Truckee River, a currently popular recreational tract for foot and bicycle traffic.  The by-pass road will start at Hwy 89 rising over a 10-ft high bridge crossing the Truckee River. The government agencies planners were not constrained by stream environment zones and impervious coverage limitations, which by the way limits every Tahoe homeowner who wants to put a deck in his backyard.        Same lake.
All the public agencies advocating this ‘new highway through the woods’ have a problem on the eyes of the public:  the three -year old $12m Bus Transfer Station … my ‘crazy uncle’  … which may very well be the unspoken motive behind what’s driving the by-pass.   The Transfer Station, an unused ‘ghost’ facility, was opposed by the very same citizens now opposing the by-pass who at meeting after meeting challenged the screwball notion that somehow tourists would board buses at inaccessible, unsheltered stops on the busy main road with no satellite parking … all to sit in the same traffic as they would if they were in their own cars, and then transfer to another bus ? Kids, ski equipment, Grandpa and all.
Now the same ‘process’ is serving up the by-pass proposal which seems very much like one bad idea being justified to save another bad idea.BY PASS MAP