A buffered bikeway on Wabash Avenue in Chicago

URGENT Call to Action: Rightsizing on California Street

An article (subscription required) in Saturday’s Record-Searchlight makes it clear that there is still discussion about whether 2 lanes for auto traffic with the addition of a Better Bikeway would better serve downtown businesses and local families than the current configuration of three lanes for auto traffic only.

As Caltrans talks bikes lanes in downtown Redding, push to reduce lanes on California St. emerges. … “discussion on Wednesday is shaping up to be over whether the less-congested California Street should be reduced from three lanes to two.”   Your voice is necessary to make a difference.  Please send your input—it’s easy!  Here’s why we feel these improvements are so essential:

  • This is a rare opportunity to improve the flow of movement in downtown Redding in the immediate future.
  • It would be the first step to replacing the aging highway conditions in downtown Redding and building an urban avenue featuring better bikeways, greenways, and improved crosswalks.
  • It would improve the movement and connections between the Westside neighborhoods (and important upcoming improvements there) and the Promenade and Pine Street areas.
  • It would provide the opportunity for a Better Bikeway connecting the popular Sacramento River Trail to downtown businesses. This would keep bicycle travel out of the dangerous “door zone” and separated from auto traffic.
  • It will make downtown walking safer and more convenient and improve the foot traffic that is essential for healthy businesses.
  • It will calm traffic moving through downtown without causing congestion.
  • It aligns to improvements that are planned in the longer term.
  • It is the type of improvement called for in the current General Plan.
  • Its a great opportunity to do more with less:  Less cost to the taxpayer and bigger benefits to businesses and families.

This is exactly the kind of real change that will boost the viability of downtown by helping make downtown Redding a place people want to be.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

We need you to email the Caltrans District 2 Public Information Office at d2pio@dot.ca.gov RIGHT NOW and tell them you support rightsizing California Street to two lanes and adding a buffered bikeway.  Get your friends and family to email as well!  We don’t have much time, Caltrans will be making their decision this Wednesday, May 28.  Make no mistake –  this improvement will not happen without strong public support.

Caltrans and the City of Redding have been tremendous supporters of our cause and have been eager to listen to our suggestions; that’s why it’s absolutely critical that we show there is a demand for this kind of quality downtown boulevard and bicycling facility in Redding.

Here’s a suggestion for what you can say:

I support rightsizing of California Street with two lanes for auto traffic and a Better Bikeway on California Street.  I think this is a good idea for downtown business and local families because [choose any of the benefits outlined above and add your own].  I am a [business owner, parent, professional ....] and I thank Caltrans and the City of Redding for your willingness to make these improvements in the near team to support the health and vitality of downtown Redding which will benefit local businesses, families and our regional economy.”

This is our chance to make a huge difference in the walkability and bikeability of downtown Redding in the near term.  We need your help!

What might California Street look like?

The proposed restriping of California Street.
The potential restriping of California Street.

Caltrans will be making a pavement overlay on California Street in downtown Redding this summer as part of $3 million dollar project.  There is potential to rightsize California Street to two lanes and add a Better Bikeway with buffers along the bike lane—providing safer movement for all users of the roadway.

Our Analysis

Why should we rightsize the lanes on California Street?

Road diets result in safer streets for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. Researchers have found that road diets can be expected to reduce overall crash frequency by anywhere from 19% to 43%, with the higher crash reductions occurring in small urban areas than in metropolitan areas. A recent rightsizing of a one-way NYC street from three lanes to two resulted in a reduction of the percentage of vehicles on the street breaking the speed limit from 74% to 20% and the percentage of cyclists riding on the sidewalk decreased from 46% to 3%.

If California Street were rightsized, pedestrians would have one less lane of motor traffic to cross, motorists would be less prone to switch from lane to lane erratically, and there would be more room for cyclists.

The difference a road diet will make in the street life of California Street is incalculable. Peak traffic might exist for 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week or less, but people move on these streets for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Won’t going from three lanes to two increase congestion?

No. The FHA has determined that road diets do not cause congestion on roads that carry under 20,000 ADTS (Average Daily Trips). California Street carried an estimated 9,200 ADTS in 2012.  That’s maybe 1/3 more than Parkview Avenue carried that year.  Parkview Avenue recently rightsized to 1 lane in each direction—noticed any congestion on Parkview lately? Neither have we.

In discussing road diets, the FHA states:   “It has been shown that roads with 15,000 ADT or less had very good results in the areas of safety, operations, and livability.”

Furthermore, the data shows automobile traffic for California Street has been trending downwards over recent years, reflecting the national trend for less driving overall.

Shouldn’t we just leave the streets alone? They’ve been fine like this for a long time.

No, they haven’t been fine.

The streets are currently designed to move the maximum amount of traffic through downtown at a high amount of speed.  This makes downtown more unpleasant and uncomfortable for pedestrians and bicyclists, and is bad for business.

The current general plan, in place for many years, makes clear that this type of goal has drawbacks for local business and calls for changes like the one now being discussed: “moving traffic through Downtown without delay detracts from efforts to establish an active, pedestrian-friendly area” and the plan allows for “‘tolerable delays’ for the Downtown area where vitality, activity, and pedestrian and transit use are primary goals.” The plan has a stated policy to “restrict speed limits in residential neighborhoods, Downtown, and other areas of the City where pedestrian activities are strongly encouraged to reduce the potential for pedestrian injuries and fatalities.”

If we rightsized California Street, what would we do with all that space?

Glad you asked! We’re like to see a buffered bikeway! After all, the City of Redding 2000-2020 General Plan has a stated goal of making it easier and safer for people to travel by bicycle, to be effected by “incorporat[ing] facilities suitable for bicycle use in the design of interchanges, intersections, and other street-improvement/maintenance projects. ”  This type of Better Bikeway can easily be implemented within the limited scope of the current overlay project.

What’s a buffered bikeway?

NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) defines a buffered bikeway as “conventional bicycle lanes paired with a designated buffer space separating the bicycle lane from the adjacent motor vehicle travel lane and/or parking lane.” Simply put, it’s a normal bike lane with a little extra space just like the image at the top of this post.

Is a buffered bikeway on California Street a good idea?

YES. Yes, yes, unequivocally, yes!

It’s good for business: 

    • Portland State University researchers found that customers who arrive by bike spend 24% more per month than those who arrive by car.

    • Traveling by bike encourages more frequent stops than a car. In a study of Toronto merchants, patrons arriving by foot and bicycle visit the most often and spend the most money per month.

    • New York City found that protected green lanes had a significant positive impact on local business strength. After the construction of a protected bike lane on 9th Avenue, local businesses saw a 49 percent increase in retail sales. In comparison, local businesses throughout Manhattan only saw a 3 percent increase in retail sales.

It’s good for everyone:

    • Even drivers who never ride bikes themselves overwhelmingly report greater comfort around physically separated bike lanes.

    • After Chicago’s Kinzie Street green lane was installed, a travel time study found little to no effect on automobile traffic: – Eastbound morning rush hour travel time from Milwaukee Avenue to Wells Street increased by less than one minute. – Westbound morning rush hour travel times from Wells Street to Milwaukee Avenue slightly improved. – Evening rush hour travel time in both directions slightly improved.

    • After New York City installed a protected green bike lane on Columbus Avenue, bicycling increased 56% on weekdays, crashes decreased 34%, speeding decreased, sidewalk riding decreased, traffic flow remained similar, and commercial loading hours/space increased 475%

If you build it, people will ride:

    • After buffered green lanes were installed on Philadelphia’s Spruce and Pine streets, bike traffic increased 95% and the number of bicyclists riding on the sidewalks decreased by up to 75%
    • After a green lane was installed on Chicago’s Kinzie Street: Bicycle ridership on increased 55 percent, according to morning rush hour counts; Forty-one percent of respondents changed their usual route to take advantage of the new protected green lane.

    • NYC’s Prospect Park West protected green lane saw a 190 percent increase in weekday ridership, with 32 percent of those biking under age 12.

It’s what people want:

    • 94% of respondents to a recent Shasta Living Streets survey agreed or strongly agreed that if there were better bicycle (like buffered or protected bike lanes) facilities and pedestrian facilities in town, they would ride their bicycle or walk more often.
    • 93% of respondents to a recent Shasta Living Streets survey agreed or strongly agreed that a buffered or protected bike lane would make them feel more comfortable riding their bicycle on city streets.
    • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans who don’t bicycle say they would like to ride more often.

Citations for these and many more statistics can be found at People for Bikes’ website.

Why should my tax money be used on a bicycle lane?

  • Most bicyclists also own a car and pay taxes and registration like everyone else.
  • In 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation that requires cities and counties, when updating the part of a local general plan that addresses roadways and traffic flows, to ensure that those plans account for the needs of all roadway users—not just motorists.
  • More people on bicycles means less auto traffic for the remaining motorists on the road, and it reduces city costs for maintaining roads since bicycles do not cause the same wear and tear on road surfaces as heavier cars and trucks.

Is this an ambitious enough proposal?

This is just an overlay project and has a very limited budget and scope. A buffered bikeway can be put into place with just a few gallons of paint. Any more significant changes to downtown circulation would be more expensive and would have to wait for a future project. In this case, the perfect is the enemy of the good and we should applaud Caltrans and the City of Redding for attempting to do more with less!

 

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Bike To Happy Hour For A Bike Commute Festival

Do you sometimes enjoy biking to work?  Thinking about it but need some encouragement?

Join us for Happy Hour and the Bike Commute Festival on Friday. Please join us whether you ride on this day or not ….  Come meet people who ride locally and swap ideas, tips and stories.  Learn about programs and how you can get involved in the movement to create better bikeways and walkable cities and towns in our region.

THANK YOU to our sponsors - Realtor, Rick PhillipsCarnegie’s, and Redding Distributing Company.

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And enjoy Shasta Living Streets Better Bikeway Brew, a blond ale from Deschutes Brewery!

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Our beer celebrates the Better Bikeways Campaign for Shasta County.  Photos available on Instagram:  Better Bikeways Photos

Then – Later that evening, head over to the  Bike-In Movie in the Downtown Promenade.  At about 8:30pm.    More information:  FREE Bike-in Movie Night

Klunkerz: A Film About Mountain Bikes – documents mountain bike history during its formative years in Northern California and examines the relationships of the Marin County teens, athletes, and entrepreneurs who were directly responsible for popularizing off-road cycling. The film includes many interviews with those present during the embryonic stages of the sport, including Gary Fisher, Charlie Kelly, Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, Mike Sinyard, and Otis Guy, and covers “the treacherous old Repack races.”

The film was written, produced, and directed by independent California filmmaker Billy Savage and released on October 8, 2006.

movie trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sjRCzRrPac

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Wear your ten gallon hat and ride your zero gallon bike! We ride too!

Extroverts welcome.   

Join friends from Shasta Living Streets and The Shasta Wheelman as we ride in the parade to help our community understand that we ride too!   Help spread the word about people on bicycles in our community and enjoy the beautiful day and riding in the parade – it’s really fun!

Yep, We ride too!  

Jack as DodgeCarr

Saturday, May 17th, 2014.  Meet on California Street between Shasta and Eureka Way at 8:30 am.

We are Parade # 126, Staging 09.

bull on a bike

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More information about the parade:  Parade Map,  Asphalt Cowboys

Family Bicycling Day 2014

What a Great Day! —A Redding Event Like No Other

Family Bicycling Day

Love Your Family. Love Your Neighborhood. Love Your Bike

Thank you Everyone!  We have many photos and stories to share from the activities on Sunday May 4, 2014.

Photos and Video

Articles

  • Ciclovia event will turn Parkview Avenue into giant bike lane.  

    By Jenny Espino Thursday, May 1, 2014   Article Here

  • Family Bicycling Day triggers discussion of transportation issues in Redding   By Alayna Shulman May 4, 2014   Article Here

    Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors:

 

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Women on Bicycles: Rich Local History, Exciting Future

The North State has a rich local history of cycling that starts in the 1880s and continues until today.

Research and photos from the turn of the century and since are being collected, curated and written about by Shasta Living Streets volunteers, in  a collaborative effort with the Shasta Historical Society, the Shasta Wheelman and local bicycling shops.

Learn about North State Cycling History

  • Visit the ongoing exhibit of cycling history at the Historical Society offices in the downtown Redding Promenade.
  • Request a presentation for your local group by Shasta Living Streets.   Learn about the past – and the exciting future of cycling in our area and how you can get involved.

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A New Look For A New Year

Welcome to our new website! We thought a new year deserved a new look, so we borrowed some of Santa’s more technically-gifted elves after Christmas and plied them with oatmeal cookies and Christmas leftovers.

Our new website should be more legible on your tablet and phone, and features more images to show off our beautiful region. Let us know what you think!

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Redding Trails Article

Are you looking for a copy of the recent article about Redding trails?

We met a number of people at today’s event on the Diestelhorst Bridge who had not had a chance to read this article.  Feel free to share with anyone you think would be interested.

There are two versions of the article, a shorter version for the print magazine, a longer version online. Both are available at the top of our Media page

IMG-20131116-00284 Yep, that’s an eagle enjoying the trail with us.

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Bicycle trips by people in small towns far outnumber those of urban areas (double!)

We have a tremendous opportunity to transform the cities, county towns and rural areas in our region to be places that are safe and inviting for people to walk and bicycle in their daily routine.

So, don’t believe the myth that it can only happen in urban areas.  With a little work to design and implement superior bicycle and pedestrian facilities, we can quickly create great places to live, work and play right here at home:

  • People in small towns want to bike too, it’s not just an urban phenomenon:  The share of work trips made by bicycle in small towns is nearly double that of urban centers.
  • Significant funding is available:  Transportation Enhancements has provided twice the funding per capita in rural America than in big cities.  And is the nation’s largest funding source for trails, walking and bicycling.  Also, this year the State of California increased the amount dedicated to biking and walking transportation projects, to the highest level ever.  And there is a priority on spending these funds in cities and towns like those in our region.
  • People in small towns prioritize active transportation facilities over auto-related projects:  Among a list of transportation priorities—including major roads and long-distance travel—rural Americans selected sidewalks as “important” more often than any other transportation need.

Active Transpiration Beyond Urban Centers: Walking and Bicycling in Small Towns and Rural America.  Report by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

Available here:  www.railstotrails.org/BeyondUrbanCenters

Related articles:

We have to stop building transportation through communities and instead build communities through transportation.’ Unfortunately, as logical as this may sound, Departments of Transportation and Public Works don’t often follow this path.

Article here:  A small town rightsizing success story

The problem with the suburbs isn’t that they are not the city. The problem with the suburbs is the same problem as the city: they had a bad 5 or 6 decades of urban design.

Article here:   Suburbs are not the problem its bad 20th Century design 

Octoberfest, Saturday Oct 12

Beer saved the world, Bicycles are next!

Hang out with friends, eat, have a beer or two, enjoy the live music—and support better bicycling in our community while you’re at it!  

You don’t need to ride a bike but it’s a great opportunity to ride downtown for a fun evening with other people who love to cycle and are working to make our community a more livable place.

Beerandbikes_thumbnaiPortions of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to Shasta Living Streets.

Beer Saved the World:   Egyptian texts contain 100 medical prescriptions calling for beer. * Since beer went through fermentation the alcohol present effectively made it cleaner than water. * Beer saved millions from giardia and worse. * Midwives created ultra-strong beer to ease the pain of labor. * Louis Pasteur studied beer and it led him to invent pasteurization and discover the existence of bacteria, which led to treatments for smallpox and polio.  More information:  Beer Facts And How It Saved The World

Bicycles are Saving the World:  

  • An opportunity for regional world-class advantage in active living
  • Local business, tourism, and strengthening our regional economy
  • A lifestyle choice for young people and their families
  • Improvements in individual health and lower community health costs
  • Safer road conditions for everyone – driving, walking and riding
  • Easy, fast commute times that leave you feeling energized
  • Friendlier communities and business districts
  • Reducing costs of maintaining our road and transportation network
  • Independence, confidence, and better school performance for children and teens who ride to school and for errands
  • Adding joy to life
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Thirty-five Percent Boost In State Funding For Bicycling And Walking!

This is a truly impressive level of support for individuals, families and businesses across the state who will benefit from improvements to safe bicycling and walking in neighborhoods, business districts, and between towns and cities.

Great News from State Government:  California went rapidly from deficit to surplus, and then with a reorganization to improve effectiveness we now have a new Transportation Agency with increased funding to active transportation for better health, greater community interaction, stronger businesses, less pollution and more joy.

Walking and bicycling projects will receive a 35 percent boost in state funding through legislation signed by Governor Jerry Brown last week. The bill establishes a new Active Transportation Program funded by $130 million in the first year. 

Thank you!   It wouldn’t have happened without actions from people all across the state – writing letters, making phone calls, and ongoing membership and support of their local organizations.  Let’s work together to help our communities ensure increased funding is applied in our region to improve the ability for people to bicycle and walk.

This milestone follows months of negotiations between the administration, legislature, and an ad hoc coalition coordinated by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership including California WALKS, California Bicycle Coalition, Rails to Trails Conservancy, PolicyLink, TransForm, Prevention Institute, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, and the Public Health Institute. 

Still, $130 million is about one percent of California’s transportation budget and barely a drop in the bucket compared to the need.

Read more on what this achievement means for the future of California:

  • See the joint statement issued by the statewide coalition of active transportation leaders.

People and business in our region would benefit greatly from improvements to street infrastructure for biking and walking.