Bay to Tahoe Basin Recreation and Tourism Rural Roadway Impact Study

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Recreation and tourism is an integral component of rural communities throughout California.

The 2014 Study may be downloaded here (9mb)
Appendix C may be downloaded separately here
PowerPoint presentation (summary of project)

The Bay to Tahoe Basin Recreation and Tourism Rural Roadway Impact Study (the Study) has identified the impacts of regional tourism travel on Interstate 80, US 50, and State Routes 20, 49, 88, 89, 193, and 267 within El Dorado, Placer, Amador, and Nevada Counties. This rural highway infrastructure supports interregional connectivity between nationally significant recreation resources of these counties and urban population centers of the Bay Area, Southern California, and Sacramento. Just as the impact of goods movement on the operation and maintenance of regional roads has been included in urban and rural transportation planning, the Study provides the data and analysis necessary to incorporate the impact of tourism travel on the study corridors into rural transportation planning, policy, management, maintenance, and funding decisions, including the development of Caltrans' Corridor Reports and Regional Transportation Plans. The Study also provides the data and information necessary to make informed planning, maintenance, and funding decisions for these significant transportation corridors which have historically only been supported based upon residential populations and lane miles. 

EDCTC lead this collaborative effort in partnership with Caltrans District 3, and the Nevada, Amador, and Placer County Transportation Planning Agencies to develop the Bay to Tahoe Basin: Recreation and Tourism Travel Impact Study. This study identifies and analyzes the impacts to the rural roadway system from the recreation and tourism related traffic generated between the major population centers of the Bay Area and Southern California and the nationally significant recreation resources of the foothill region and the Lake Tahoe Basin. The Study provides quantified impacts and identifies the associated issues and opportunities for rural recreational travel and the preservation and enhancement of impacted rural roads and highways. 

Due to constraints on these roadways, including fiscal and geographic/topographic constraints, the Study establishes non-conventional, low-cost, high-impact solutions. Solutions include advancements in the Intelligent Transportation Systems infrastructure, Transportation Demand Management, and other strategies. 


  • Identify the significance of interregional recreation and tourism travel patterns through rural areas connecting urban population centers to the recreation resources within and surrounding the Lake Tahoe Basin.
  • Quantify the significance and value of rural roadway networks which provide the connectivity between urban population centers and internationally significant recreation destinations.
  • Provide data and analysis from which local agencies can better understand the implications of transportation policy decisions impacting rural roadways and recreational travel.
  • Develop consensus among regional, state, and federal policy makers to design and implement investment and funding strategies as well as transportation policies which stimulate improvements to rural transportation infrastructure and programs that serve as the framework for recreation and tourism travel.