Transportation programs in the Lake Tahoe Basin strive to improve mobility for residents and visitors, enhance community vitality, and reduce environmental impacts associated with transportation. The transportation system is the backbone upon which the region's economy and communities depend. It also causes significant effects, both positive and negative, on almost every environmental threshold of the Lake Tahoe Basin, including air, water, noise, wildlife and fisheries, vegetation, soils, scenic, and recreation.
As in most locations in the United States, the majority of trips in the Lake Tahoe Basin are made by the private automobile. There is limited capacity in the basin, however, to accommodate more trips by this mode. Even the current roadway system and associated levels of traffic contribute unexceptable quantities of airborne pollutants and runoff into the air and Lake. Runoff from roads and deposition from airborne pollutants are the biggest contributors to the degradation of Lake Tahoe's water quality. Improvements to the transportation system must focus on improved roadway water quality treatments, shifts to non-auto modes, and low-emission vehicle fleets.
Transportation planning and management focuses on many different areas. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Transit planning and operations
- Bicycle and pedestrian improvements
- Intelligent Transportation Systems(ITS)
- Data analysis and trend evaluation
- Parking analysis and parking feasibility reports
- Long-range planning
- Facility construction
Many different agencies are responsible for carrying out transportation activities in the Lake Tahoe Basin:
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
and Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization
carry out long-range planning activities and coordinate transportation planning in the Basin.
The Tahoe Transportation District
owns and operates intra- and inter-regional transportation services, and has the ability to generate revenues through sales tax or other measures.
Departments of Transportation are responsible for planning and construction of state roadways and facilities.