Placer County seeks to safeguard pedestrian safety and enhance traffic flow at Grove Street intersection in Tahoe City

Published Feb. 1, 2024

Grove Street Intersection Improvements aerial imageA project to safeguard pedestrians and enhance traffic flow within the Tahoe City corridor is set to kick off after a key approval by the Placer County Board of Supervisors last week. The vote authorizes the director of Public Works to approve a contract with GHD Inc. for professional services to begin the Tahoe City Mobility and Grove Street Intersection Improvements Project along state Route 28.

The project’s goal is to assess the location and provide a design to improve traffic control at the intersection of Grove Street and state Route 28, also known as North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City. The approved contract is to not exceed $598,119.

Placer County is working in coordination with Caltrans on this project and together, staff will analyze multiple alternatives for the intersection including a signal and roundabout. 

“This intersection experiences a significant volume of pedestrian activity, traffic and congestion in this popular area,” said Public Works Engineering Manager Ryan Decker. “For many years, the county has employed various methods to study the intersection and nearby traffic. That included pedestrian flaggers and a temporary signal during peak tourism periods, but each had its limitations. This effort's goal is to improve the operation of this intersection and make North Lake Boulevard safer for pedestrians and cyclists.”

The project is intended to address long-standing community concerns with pedestrian safety and mobility, as well as traffic congestion. Due to the adjacent school on Grove Street, there are frequent school bus stops at this intersection and many children crossing state Route 28 en route to school. The contract includes preliminary design for the intersection as well as environmental review and final design services.

Temporary signal at Grove StreetStemming from the Tahoe City Mobility Plan in 2016, county staff consider this project a key component in a systematic, whole-network approach to improve mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists throughout this area of North Lake Tahoe. Staff are reviewing traffic and transportation along the entire Tahoe City downtown corridor. In all, these incremental improvements aim to help maximize traffic flow in the region and ensure pedestrian crossing and cyclist safety.

Prior to the creation of the Tahoe City Mobility Plan, the county hired a consultant to conduct a traffic study in the Tahoe City area. Over a five-year (2009-2013) span, there were 75 total crashes concentrated near the Highway 89 wye, Commons Beach Road and Grove Street intersections. Over the same period, five pedestrian crashes and seven bicyclist crashes were reported, all resulting in injury. In that span, 50% percent of the injury crashes were pedestrian or bicycle crashes within the study area in Tahoe City.

“We know how important it is to improve traffic flow through Tahoe City, and our goal is to enhance efficiency as much as possible,” said Public Works Deputy Director Rebecca Taber. “Additionally, we want to protect and safeguard our residents and visitors who enjoy walking and cycling in the town center and going to the beach or lake.”

Placer County plans to engage the community on this project and others in the coming months. More details will be made available on the county’s Tahoe City Mobility Project webpage.

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