The Placer County Department of Public Works (DPW) today released its Draft Kings Beach Neighborhood Traffic Calming Plan. The plan is an element of the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project which is meant to minimize traffic related impacts on the residential community in Kings Beach. The Kings Beach Commercial Core Project will enhance the overall appearance of a 1.1-mile stretch of State Route (SR) 28 through Kings Beach.
The preferred hybrid alternative of the Project will transform SR 28 into a three-lane roadway with roundabouts at the intersections of the state highway and Bear and Coon streets. With this alternative, there will be periods in the future when traffic volumes exceed the capacity of SR 28. When this happens, traffic will slow on SR 28 through the Kings Beach commercial corridor and some motorists may try to avoid the delays by diverting off SR 28, into the residential “grid”.
Because of this potential of traffic cutting through the residential area the Project’s final environmental document identified the need for a “traffic management” or “traffic calming” plan.
The draft plan was developed with the input of Kings Beach residents, local Fire Department officials, transportation professionals and County staff. This focus group identified community needs and helped develop ideas for the traffic calming program.
“What started out as addressing a future need of the community, quickly transformed itself as an opportunity to address current traffic issues faced by the community,” said Placer County Department of Public Works Director Ken Grehm. “The draft plan addresses issues that will be faced by the community as the region grows and the Commercial Core Project is constructed, but it also enhances current pedestrian mobility and safety within the neighborhood, particularly in the vicinity of Kings Beach School”.
The study included research at traffic calming measures in use by other mountain resort communities. The key measures included in the draft Kings Beach traffic calming plan include:
- Pedestrian paths/sidewalks in key corridors
- Traffic circles;
- Two-lane gateway constrictions; and
- Seasonal speed humps
With continued monitoring and analyses, refinements to the plan would be made as needed.
The complete Neighborhood Traffic Calming Plan is available on the County’s Department of Public Works website. The plan is avaialble online on the Placer County Department of Public Works website by clicking the following link: Kings Beach Conceptual Traffic Calming Plan.
The County is scheduling two “open houses” in Kings Beach on October 7 (in English) at the North Tahoe Conference Center and one on October 9 (in Spanish) at the Kings Beach Elementary school. These open houses will provide an opportunity for the community to learn more about the proposed traffic calming program and ask questions. Each will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The goals of the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project are threefold:
- to improve storm water collection and treatment to water that currently flows untreated directly into Lake Tahoe and contributes to the reduced clarity of the lake;
- to improve streetscape aesthetics; and
- to improve pedestrian and bicycle mobility on the highway.
The Project has been under development for more than 10 years. The draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was released in spring 2007. The County Board of Supervisors approved the project on July 22, 2008 and the TRPA Governing Board is expected to consider approval of the project at their November board meeting.