Take the Poll: Tahoe Traffic Solutions in the Face of Climate Concerns
Experiencing Lake Tahoe is observing and feeling the great wonder of our earth; I’m sure all visitors and locals can agree. The snowy peaks, the gorgeous blue-green waters that seems to perpetually change hues, the forests and all the life around the lake make this location one of the most visited natural landscapes on earth. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency states that about 15 million people visit Lake Tahoe annually, and that includes 10 million vehicles driving in the Great Basin, the lake’s home.
The issues surrounding traffic, pollution, and climate change in this area of the Sierra Nevada have been brought forth into the public sphere. The high volume of tourism is a central element of the area’s economic success, however the modes by which travelers get around, predominantly by individual vehicle, is harming local ecosystems and contributing to a warming climate. This is perhaps the least efficient means of transport and therefore the least sustainable. What can we do about the 15 million vehicles visiting annually that emit polluting substances into the environment? What can we do to increase funding for new programs that will be sustainable long term solutions that will bring us safely into the future? How can we claim our own responsibility as users of this beautiful area to protect its longevity? It is the hope of many that we can protect Lake Tahoe while still welcoming in visitors from around the world.
Groups of stakeholders have been gathering to generate answers to these questions. The Tahoe Transportation District has been studying a new plan that will generate $1.5 million in transport shortfall expenses over the next 23 years, deemed the One Tahoe plan. The purpose behind this plan is to fund and construct new connective venues of clean transport like bike trails and walking trails. One tenet of the plan may be to introduce a fee to visitors for the infrastructure projects. This idea has been questioned by stakeholders who imagine it may ward off valued tourism, while others feel it is the best option, involving the least pushback from public and private interests. You can learn more by reading the article here.
We would like to know how you feel about the transportation issues that Lake Tahoe is facing. Should we implement a traffic fee to offset the effects of climate change? Is there a better way to address this situation? Protecting Lake Tahoe is going to take a unified effort, but together, we will stand for what we love.
TAKE THE POLL
Photos from Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and SF Chronicle.