The Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition has completed the third phase of its efforts to create secure bike parking within the basin.
The coalition, with the help of a grant from Tahoe Fund and matching contributions from local businesses, purchased and installed 100 bike racks in high-priority spots near town centers and also added a bike repair station this summer, offering parking for 200 bikes.
In total, the coalition and Tahoe Fund have teamed to provide access to 450 bike racks at outdoor recreation locations, area businesses and community hotspots all around the lake since 2018, offering secure parking for up to 900 bikes.
“The bike coalition has consistently heard from members and supporters that the lack of bike racks is a barrier to getting people to make more trips by bike,” said Chris Mertens, Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition board member. “Based on this need, we created the Bike Racks for Tahoe program in 2018. Anecdotally, we regularly see bikes parked at the new racks, sometimes as they are being installed, and locations throughout the basin have been very happy with the program.”
The coalition had the high-quality bike racks installed at 31 locations within one-quarter mile of town centers around the lake including South Lake Tahoe, Kings Beach, Tahoe City and Incline Village. Each of the two styles of racks provided can park two bicycles.
Businesses, recreation spots and schools applied for racks by completing a short online survey. Along with the racks, the coalition also purchased five public “fix-it” stations over the last two years. The stations have been installed in frequented locations where people riding bikes can use tools and a pump to address minor bicycle repair issues for free. This year, a fix-it station and bike rack were sent to North Tahoe in memory of Pam Emmerich, a long-time resident, community advocate and champion of bicycling.
“The Tahoe Fund has continued to support the bike coalition’s efforts to install more bike racks because we recognize the value it offers to the community and the Tahoe environment,” said Allen Biaggi, Tahoe Fund board chair. “Increasing the amount of bicycle parking and access to free repair stations region-wide encourages residents and visitors to ride. This in turn helps reduce vehicle emissions and roadway sediment that can affect lake clarity.”
Along with ongoing advocacy, event bike parking, safety messaging and providing the Tahoe region bike map, the coalition plans to continue to inventory bike racks, advocate for requiring bike parking with all new development and will continue to provide as many racks to existing locations as possible through partnerships like what has been established with the Tahoe Fund.