Section of Lake Tahoe Bikeway Officially Dedicated - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Section of Lake Tahoe Bikeway Officially Dedicated

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Planners at Lake Tahoe are celebrating the completion of the latest phase of the Lake Tahoe Bikeway. The 1.2 mile shared-use bike path is on the Nevada side of the lake and averages 350 people a day during the summer months.

For more than two decades, people have been dreaming about a bike path that goes all the way around Lake Tahoe. Slowly but surely, that's been happening.

Charles Nelson is the president of the Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition. He has enjoyed riding his bike for 65 years. He says this new paved bikeway gives him a new way to see the lake and its surroundings. "It's just a beautiful place to live and a beautiful place to be out in the woods and enjoy nature," Nelson said.

The second segment of the Stateline-to-Stateline Bikeway starts on the south shore and ends in Crystal Bay, attracting a growing number of cycling tourists. "We're seeing more and more cyclists," B Gorman, President and CEO of the Tahoe Chamber said. "The economic impact of cyclists to our community is immeasurable, at this point."

The path is built to accommodate families, whether biking or walking. "People come here just with their families and with recreational bikes and just like to move around along the community and to get to the beaches like this bike trail provides without having to get out of the car," Alfred Knotts, Project Manager for the Tahoe Transportation District said.

Knotts says by getting out of the car, it cuts down on both air and water pollution, and gives people a unique view of the forest, mountains, and beaches. "Tahoe is one of the premiere destinations for recreation in the United States," Knotts said. "So, people come here expecting facilities like this."

The latest section ends at Round Hill Pines. The beach offers its own types of recreation. "They can come here and rent a standup paddleboard or kayak or just enjoy the beach or lunch," Gorman said.

The project is paid for by a number of grants and costs about $1.5 million per mile. About half of the 72-mile path around Lake Tahoe is already finished. Most of it is on the California side. Continuing the progress is something some say only elevates the area's recreational options. "I think it's going to bring a lot more people here, get a lot more people out in the woods to see what's here and enjoy our lake in a different setting," Nelson said.

Planners are hoping to build between one and 1.5 miles of bike path, every year. They say the whole process could take up to 20 years. The North Demonstration Project plans to begin construction in 2015. The first phase will connect Incline Village to Sand Harbor.

Written by Paul Nelson

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