Supervisors commit to helping raise $20 million annually for transportation in Tahoe

Published May 26, 2022

AUBURN, Calif -- A regional effort to raise transportation dollars for Lake Tahoe is being supported by the Placer County Board of Supervisors. During its Tuesday meeting, the board adopted a resolution approving a commitment to a regional partnership dedicated to raising a minimum of $20 million per year for transportation improvements.

The funding would be earmarked to support the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Regional Transportation Plan, which focuses on environmental sustainability and alternative forms of transportation such as transit services, bike and pedestrian trails and other community enhancements. 

A draft list of proposed projects for the entire Lake Tahoe region has been developed as part of this effort and includes implementation of the Tahoe Area Regional Transit systems plan, completion of the Fanny Bridge project, the addition of transit priority lanes on state routes 89 and 267 and the construction of priority trail segments within Placer County. 

The growing number of residents and visitors to the Tahoe basin is prompting the regional effort because of increasing pressure on the transportation system. 

“The population growth has the potential to accelerate environmental and public safety impacts and we must be strategic if we are going to compete for limited transportation dollars,” said District 5 Supervisor and Board Chair Cindy Gustafson. “All of us are concerned about traffic congestion, increased pollution, erosion and a lack of parking and safe alternative transportation options such as walking and biking paths. Tahoe is a gem that we need to protect and I believe our funding partners will support this endeavor.”

The Tahoe Transportation District is recommending the development of a federal, state, local/ private partnership funding strategy known as the 7-7-7 plan, which would seek $7 million annually from all three entities.

The regional partnership hopes to obtain a commitment from the governors of California and Nevada, Tahoe’s two state governors, to address what actions the states and the federal government may be able to pursue to provide more annual transportation funding. The TTD board has also committed to evaluating what additional funds could be pursued from the local/private sector. Also under consideration is the implementation of a zonal fee for two recreation corridor segments – state Route 28 on the Nevada side and state Route 89 on the California side of the basin.

“The first step in the development of the 7-7-7 funding plan and partnership is to determine how best to advance the discussion at the state and federal level,” said Gustafson. “My hope is that the commitment of the Placer County Board of Supervisors to support the effort will provide momentum and leadership within the Tahoe Basin to propel this effort forward.”

The TTD along with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Regional Government Services consulting team are working with the Tahoe Transportation Implementation Committee on an implementation strategy. The TTIC is a technical advisory group that includes staff from various government agencies such as Placer County and the state Department of Transportation, both of which have influence over transportation planning and implementation.

 Placer County Department of Public Works and County Executive Office staff have been

engaged in discussions with TTIC members to support the effort, which is part of a continued commitment to balance tourism and environmental sustainability in the Tahoe basin.