Yesterday, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Governing Board approved the USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) Chimney Beach Trailhead parking improvement project on Lake Tahoe’s East Shore. The project will help improve safety, reduce roadside parking, and enhance recreation in the popular state Route 28 corridor, the agencies said today.
The LTBMU project will expand the existing 21-space parking area to 130 spaces. At the same time, partner agencies remove an equivalent amount of roadside and shoulder parking in the area, which will improve roadway safety, emergency response, and recreation access, improve scenic quality in the National Scenic Byway, and reduce soil damage and erosion. It is estimated that more than 70 percent of fine sediment harming Lake Tahoe’s clarity comes from roadways and urban upland areas.
Construction is expected to last through October 2023, with some construction activities to be completed early next summer. Although the parking lot will be closed, trails will remain open during construction.
“Improving safety and parking along the lake’s East Shore corridor is a high priority in our regional transportation plans. The Chimney Beach parking lot is an integral component to remove parking off the road, reduce congestion, and provide residents and visitors safe access to public lands and the lake.”
– TRPA Executive Director Julie Regan
The project is part of the LTBMU’s SR-28 Shared Use Path, Parking, Safety, and Environmental Improvements Project and the Nevada State Route 28 Corridor Management Plan. The larger vision for the corridor includes additional parking management and technology, continuation of the East Shore Trail to Spooner Summit, more frequent transit and further transit stops, and construction of a mobility hub at Spooner Summit.
“The East Shore contains some of the most scenic landscapes in the Lake Tahoe Basin and many popular remote recreation destinations. These parking areas are generally at or above capacity during the summer season and parking overflows onto the highway shoulder. The project will address potential conflicts between pedestrians and vehicle traffic as well as the potential hindering of the movement of emergency vehicles.”
– LTBMU Forest Supervisor, Erick Walker
The upgraded parking area will be constructed with water quality Best Management Practices, or BMPs, to treat stormwater and runoff before it leaves the site and improve trash containment. Further improvements to the trailhead will include restrooms, transit pullouts, a pedestrian crossing, and infrastructure to support a future parking management system.
Thirteen partner organizations are involved in implementing the Nevada SR-28 Corridor Management Plan. Funding has been committed through federal and state sources and contributions from the Tahoe Fund, a nonprofit that has committed up to $3 million in private donations to projects in the corridor. Earlier improvements included the first section of the East Shore Trail from Incline Village to Sand Harbor Nevada State Park, including successfully removing roadside parking in the corridor.
“These improvements are not just about providing safer and more accessible parking options. They are also laying the groundwork for a future parking management system. With a system in place, we can further enhance safety and reduce roadside parking around the Lake Tahoe basin, making outdoor recreation more sustainable for everyone.”
– Tahoe Transportation District Executive Director Carl Hasty
Those interested can view the LTBMU SR-28 Corridor Management Plan Decision Notice and Environmental Assessment.
For more information on this project, contact Mike Gabor at firstname.lastname@example.org.