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.
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.