Bishop working Active Transportation Program

By Deb Murphy

Katie Larson kick-started the discussion of bike safety in Bishop at Monday’s City Council meeting, describing her unnerving trip down Line Street on her way to work in the mornings. “Bishop is bike-unfriendly,” she said during the Council’s public comment period.

Hank Truxillo (left) a self-described casual biker offers cycle safety suggestions to Bishop Public Works Director Dave Grah during Monday afternoons Active Transportation project session.

Hank Truxillo (left) a self-described casual biker offers cycle safety suggestions to Bishop Public Works Director Dave Grah during last Monday afternoon’s Active Transportation project session.

The City and Public Works Director Dave Grah have started the process to smooth out the commute for Bishop’s cycling community, beginning with last week’s Active Transportation Program community input meetings. The ideas flowed from biking residents or commuters into the city, focusing on route improvements and public awareness for all forms of transportation.

The informal presentation included a long list of prospective road projects with the 13 eligible for California’s Active Transportation Program funding highlighted. Application for those funds is due at the end of the month. Grah’s plan is to get the public’s input, then prioritize the potential projects at two meetings on May 20, noon and 5 p.m., before completing the City’s applications.

Many of the route improvement suggestions were already on Public Works’ list. Other suggestions included limited or no-parking on Line Street during Bishop’s morning rush hour providing a quasi-bike lane, flashing lights at downtown crosswalks, caution lights alerting motorists to kids pedaling or walking to school and educating both motorists and bikers on safety issues.

The state-funded program is designed to encourage biking, walking and skateboarding over motorized transportation for both health reasons and reduction in green-house gases. The City’s goal is to close gaps in its existing road system with little environmental impact on existing trees and maximum safety on routes to area schools.

 

 

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4 Responses to Bishop working Active Transportation Program

  1. Charles O. Jones May 19, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    Many communities down south have added “Sharrows” to some of their busier streets that aren’t wide enough to accommodate full bike lanes. Sharrows are a large white logo painted right in the lane that helps alert motorists that bicycles may be sharing the space. The sharrows are typically accompanied by signage as well. Sharrows don’t make the road any wider but they do promote greater awareness and thereby creating a safer environment for cyclists.

    The city of Long Beach has even taken it a step further in some areas. They’ve painted wide green stripes in the right lanes in addition to the sharrows and signage. This makes it very clear to motorists that cyclists may be sharing the space. It also helps alleviate some of the fears that cyclists have of riding in high traffic areas.

    Separate bike paths and/or dedicated bike lanes are ideal, but when the space just isn’t there, sharrows can help. And all for the price of some paint and a few signs.

     
  2. Ken Warner May 20, 2015 at 12:13 am #

    Just telling people what is the right thing to do is never enough.

     
  3. DESCO May 20, 2015 at 11:36 am #

    Why doesn’t Ca. charge a yearly licence fee for bicycles and use the money for bike lanes and such? Also paint some lines and but up some signs to alert bicyclists that sharing works both ways.

     
    • Charles O. Jones May 21, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

      @DESCO,
      Those bike lanes help keep cyclists out of traffic lanes. Safer for the cyclists and less inconvenience for the motorists. It’s a win-win situation. Cyclists are legal road users and they’re not going away. So it’s in everyones best interest to have roads that safely accommodate both cars and bikes.

      And clearly the concept of sharing is a two-way street, (no pun intended). Cyclists need to do their part as well. Sometimes it seems that common courtesy is in short supply – regardless of whether people are driving a car or riding a bike.

      As far as fees – I don’t know of one cyclist that doesn’t also own at least one car and pays the annual registration fees. Vehicle registration fees and gas taxes cover less than half of the cost of the roads in our state. The remainder is covered by various other taxes which are not associated with vehicle ownership. So in other words, even though a cyclist may choose to leave their car at home, they ARE paying for the roads they ride on.

       

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