Although existing bicycle/pedestrian paths are popular, the use of non-auto transportation, within the Tahoe Basin and to adjacent destinations, has been limited by the lack of a complete network. The need for broadening transportation choices and providing an alternative to private car use is becoming a priority as the number of area residents and visitors continues to increase.
The purpose is to provide non-auto transportation opportunities that link recreation areas, community centers, transportation facilities and neighborhoods around the lake to expand recreation access and transportation choices for residents and visitors to the Tahoe Basin. The bikeway will not only provide a spectacular recreation opportunity, but also provides non-motorized access to public beaches, coves and trails along the picturesque shoreline. These popular recreation areas are generally accessed by automobile. Paved parking is limited and the high demand for these areas lead to shoulder parking and erosion problems. Providing bicycle links to all recreation areas, to communities and to resort/commercial areas is an important step to reducing vehicle and parking impacts, improving the multi modal options available to residents and visitors, improving safety, and providing an unparalleled recreation experience in the bikeway itself.
Currently, separated bicycle paths are very limited on the Nevada side of the lake. Popular public beaches and coves along the East Shore are accessed primarily by car. The environment is impacted not only by higher emissions, but also by shoulder parking with erosion and water quality consequences and by the congestion of vehicles.
Recent surveys have indicated public support for an expanded, around-the-lake bicycle/pedestrian trail.
Connecting on the NV side with existing segments about 30+ miles of new trail construction. Initial demonstration projects are planned from Incline Village to Sand Harbor (North/East Shore) and Lake Parkway/commercial core to Round Hill Pines Beach (South/East Shore).
America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway is being developed to provide:
- Safer Bicycling and Walking Opportunities – to encourage the shift in travel demand by commuters, residents and visitors with safe access and to promote a healthier lifestyle
- An Alternative to Private Car Use – to reduce environmental impact, improving air quality by decreasing emissions and lake clarity by reducing particulate run-off which supports the protection, restoration and sustainability of the natural resources of the Basin
- An Unparalleled Recreation Experience – the unmatched scenic quality of the bike path itself, along with its visitor amenities, eg., vista points, interpretive signage, improved ADA access and connectivity to Lake Tahoe.
Initial concepts call for a combination of separated bicycle/pedestrian paths, off-street right of way, striped on-road lanes and signed shared-use roadways.
The North Demonstration Project, Tahoe East Shore Trail, opened June 28, 2019.
The Meeks Bay Bike Trail was completed this spring.
The South Demonstration Bikeway Phase 1B construction was completed June 2013 and Phase 1C was completed October 2013.