Roadside parking should remain on Highway 28 between Spooner Summit and Incline Village, Lake Tahoe enthusiasts said.
And there should be a reliable, frequent shuttle service around the entire lake.
About a dozen Carson City- and Tahoe-area residents shared their ideas Thursday on how the various agencies with a say along Tahoe's east shore should go about maintaining access as roadside parking decreases next year.
A public workshop at the Carson City Library sought comments on four proposals dealing with the elimination of at least 75 roadside parking spaces along Highway 28 with erosion control projects the next two summers between Spooner and Incline.
North Swanson of Zephyr Cove, representing the Tahoe Area Naturists, said roadside parking is critical.
"Our position is unless they have a transit system that is working and guaranteed down the road or more off-highway parking, which is doubtful, an adequate amount of on-road parking should remain," Swanson said.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency authorized erosion control projects that would limit about 105 roadside parking spaces to high-clearance vehicles and eliminate 75 parking spaces.
Highway 28 has 760 legal roadside parking spaces and 355 illegal spaces. That stretch of highway also has 852 off-highway parking spaces.
TRPA's long-term desires, however, are to eliminate all roadside parking.
Carson City-based Harding Lawson Associates - an engineering, planning and construction services firm - is using public workshops in Zephyr Cove, Carson City and Reno to prepare an East Tahoe Access Plan for TRPA. The firm has drafted four options with public comment to play a role in the final recommendation, said Paul Pettersen of Harding Lawson.
"I think it will play a significant role just because the resource agencies (TRPA, the Forest Service, the Nevada Department of Transportation) are sensitive to public concerns," Pettersen said.
The four options are:
- No transit, no parking lot expansions.
- No transit, expand parking lots
- Limited transit, expand parking lots.
- Full transit, don't expand parking lots.
A draft plan should be ready in July.
Pettersen said the Zephyr Cove workshop favored the second option. He said the government agencies favor the third option, and the public at the Carson workshop also welcomed some transit and expanded parking lots.
Parking lot expansions are proposed for the two Forest Service lots straddling the Washoe/Carson City line. One lot with 23 spaces could get 28 more spaces and the other lot with 32 spaces could get 17 more.
A shuttle, several people said, would have to be year-round and have a guaranteed long-term lifespan, unlike the Lake Lapper bus that folded last year. The Carson group also favored a lakewide shuttle over a Spooner-Incline shuttle.
"If they eliminate all the parking and the shuttle goes away, what access is there in fall, winter and spring?" asked one man.
Tricia Lincoln of Dayton said eliminating roadside parking would bring more boaters to eastshore beaches.
"What you're going to see is a boat parking lot," Lincoln said. "What does that do to water quality?"
Gary Hourt of Carson City didn't see as solid a proposal for shuttle service as is found at Yosemite National Park.
"Here is the real weak spot," Hourt said. "I don't see anything strong to get people in."
Pettersen said comments from the Carson City Library meeting would be incorporated in the access plan.
"You guys brought up some real good issues: boating, the Lake Lapper. I didn't even think of those things," he said.
Comments about plans to eliminate roadside parking on Highway 28 and add shuttle service may be sent to:
Harding Lawson Associates
1572 E. College Parkway, Suite 162
Carson City 89706
or faxed to 888-9994