Plans for additional bicycle paths in Lincoln County, different from the off-road mountain bike trails project, are being developed by the Nevada Department of Transportation Bicycle and Pedestrian program.
Manager Bill Story from Carson City gave a powerpoint presentation to county commissioners at their regular meeting June 20.
He said, “In our creation of a statewide bicycle plan a few years ago, we heard from many of the rural counties, that they wished they had a bicycle plan specific to their communities. So, we were able to acquire additional funding to hire a consultant for basically writing a bicycle plan for every rural county. There are 14 rural counties that are not covered under the large urban metropolitan area planning processes.”
The plans have now been written, and Story said, “We are now going through and going to each county for their approval. Then they will go forward to the state Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Board for a recommendation to the NDOT director. Once approved by the director, they become part of the statewide bicycle plan.”
Story gave Commissioners each a detailed draft copy of the Lincoln County Bicycle Plan. There are proposed paths to go in at Alamo, Panaca, Pioche and Caliente. “These are transportation paths,” he said, “which makes them different from off-road trails for recreational riding. This is a transportation network in the community and would all be paved facilities. The IMBA trails are destinations, trailheads, so what you want to do is have someone who is staying at a local motel not have to drive their car to go out to the trailhead, but be able to ride their bike through town, go on the mountain trails and return to their room safely. It’s a matter of providing that convenience, that safety and that feeling of comfort by creating bikeways that people feel comfortable on.”
The draft plan references the major elements of the state plan that are relevant to Lincoln County with a focus on documenting the existing and proposed infrastructure improvements desired within Lincoln County, as well as adjacent areas.
Since the initial meeting held was held in November 2011, 15 meetings have been held around the state with 777 responses to a user survey received and 51 key issues identified that were typical to bicycling in rural counties of Nevada.
The printed draft plan included aerial photos of Pioche, Panaca, Caliente and Alamo, showing where bikes lanes could be placed and where marked shared lanes could be constructed and where new bike lanes could be placed. Each photo also has a caption that states, “At a minimum, a paved shoulder with a minimum usable width of four feet should be included on all future roadway improvements with a speed limit of over 25 miles per hour.”
Panaca already has a bike path that goes from the Y station intersection into town, but additional ones are also marked out.
Another need, as reported in the survey responses, was a bicycle path going from Caliente to Kershaw-Ryan State Park.
Paul Mathews moved for approval of the draft plan, which was accepted.