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.
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.
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.
Portions 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
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:
Rails to Trails Conservancy is featuring the trails of California this September with articles and posts about activities across the state. Redding trails make the Top 10 list – and are the subject of the featured article! Check out the articles and share them with your friends:
You’ve read about it in Rails to Trails magazine, now get the full story about the Sacramento River Trail system in the extended story with additional details and travel facts!
This article on the wonderful systems of trails in Redding first appeared in the Fall 2013 edition of Rails to Trails magazine. Due to space restraints, Bryan Goebel’s original piece was edited down quite a bit for the print product.
Rails to Trails Conservancy has made the full article available online, with many additional travel facts and descriptions of the Sacramento River Trails.
Second Street, a major east-west artery that skirts the CSU, Chico campus and goes through the heart of downtown has been turned into a one-way eastbound street for several blocks, from Broadway (a southbound arterial), past Main Street (a northbound arterial) and east to a new traffic circle at the bridge across Big Chico Creek. The block between Broadway and Main Street used to be particularly congested in both directions because of cars stacking up to make left turns.
The one-way section of Second Street now features angle-in parking on the north side, two lanes of eastbound traffic, a well-marked bike lane, and parallel parking on the south side.
Many of the businesses expanded their sidewalk dining, venturing closer to the street into areas that previously would have been too unpleasant because of exhaust fumes and traffic noise. The well-defined and wide bike lane is a particularly welcome addition for Chico’s many cyclists, since the arterial previously lacked bike lanes—lionhearted cyclists previously had to navigate the extremely narrow and unmarked space between on-street parking and traffic lanes.
The City of Chico should be commended for its willingness to experiment with new ideas and seeking to refine its streets to make them more inviting and livable for all its citizens. Although downtown Redding is often criticized for its confusing one-way streets, downtown Chico has just as many—if not more! What changes do you think Redding could make to make its downtown streets as inviting as those of Chico?
Some of you may have noticed there’s been a lot of roadwork going on Parkview Avenue, just south of the Redding Civic Center. The City of Redding has resurfaced the street with a nice, fresh overlay and taken the opportunity to put Parkview Avenue on what’s commonly known as a “road diet.”
The term road diet can be misleading, conjuring images of sacrifice, frustration, and scarcity. We prefer the term “rightsizing.” The goal is to reallocate resources in a more useful way that reflects the current needs of the community and to make streets more livable for everyone.
Rightsizing is typically applied to streets with excess capacity, most commonly two-way streets with two lanes in each direction. Rightsizing usually reconfigures the street to one lane in either direction, and the freed-up space is then used to improve the street’s facilities.
Rightsizing Changes To Parkview Avenue
In Parkview Avenue’s case, a well-marked bike lane has been added in either direction along with a center turn lane. Parkview Avenue has actually gained a lane—going from four lanes to five—one in each direction for motorists, one in each direction for cyclists, and a center turn lane for safer turns!
The city has also added bulb-outs at several intersections. Bulb-outs are features where the sidewalk is extended into the street at corners, making a bulblike shape. Bulb-outs make streets much more pedestrian friendly because they shorten the distance to cross from sidewalk to sidewalk—which is great for families with small children, the elderly, and the differently abled. Bulb-outs also encourage cars to slow down in order to safely navigate the turn onto the cross street.
Benefits of a Rightsizing a Street
Decreases vehicle travel lanes for pedestrians to cross, therefore reducing the multiple‐threat crash (when one vehicle stops for a pedestrian in a travel lane on a multi‐lane road, but the motorist in the next lane does not, resulting in a crash) for pedestrians.
Improves safety for bicyclists when bike lanes are added (such lanes also create a buffer space between pedestrians and vehicles).
Provides the opportunity for on-street parking (also a buffer between pedestrians and vehicles).
Reduces rear-end and side-swipe crashes.
Improves speed limit compliance and decreases crash severity when crashes do occur.
When modified from four travel lanes to two travel lanes with a two-way left-turn lane, roadways have experienced a 29 percent reduction in all roadway crashes.
Rightsizing is endorsed by the Federal Highway Administration as a proven safety countermeasure that benefits motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
A 2007 City of Redding speed study (the most current posted to the City of Redding website) indicates Parkview Avenue carries an average daily traffic of 4,600 vehicles. The FHA notes that “it has been shown that roads with 15,000 ADT or less had very good results in the areas of safety, operations, and livability [when rightsizing has been applied.]”
Furthermore, The 2000-2020 City of Redding General Plan designated Parkview as a focus area and called for the city to “establish public open-space and pedestrian/bicycle links between the river and parks, activity centers, schools, and other major open-space areas such as stream corridors” and to “provide for a pattern of development that encourages walking, bicycling, and transit use.” Parkview Avenue was also named as proposed Class II bikeway facility in the transportation element of the general plan.
The residents of Parkview are thrilled with the rightsizing. In a recent email to our organization, Heather Phillips, president of Parkview Neighborhood
Association, writes, “I am so thrilled with the Parkview Avenue project currently underway… and I want to assure everyone that it is noticed and LOVED and welcomed.”
A Minor Quibble
There are still some areas for improvement and issues brought up by local residents that have not yet been addressed. For example, there is a section of sidewalk that was not completed and crucial improvements are still needed to help people walk and bicycle safely cross the A.C.I.D. canal. We encourage the city to address these as soon as is possible so that Parkview Avenue can truly be considered a complete street.
That said, the improvements that have been made terrific. It’s great to see the City of Redding focus on Redding’s core and impressive to see how far Parkview Avenue has come in the past decade!
We are very happy to announce Keith Williams has been chosen to serve on the statewide California Bicycle Advisory Committee, representing Shasta Living Streets and the issues and opportunities of our region. Dave Snyder, Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition says “Keith plays an important role on the committee and has already had an impact in helping achieve a victory in the recent meeting clarifying standards for bicycle facility design.”
The committee serves to inform Caltrans on state-wide policy, infrastructure standards and implementation, providing input on bicycle facility design issues. Keith has an academic background in transportation planning, and an understanding of on-the-ground bicycle experience, issues and advocacy from Central California and now from his home and work in the North State. Keith lives in Redding and currently works at Shasta Regional Transportation Agency as a part-time Transportation Planner.
While the cities and counties of the North State are not the most populous areas in the state, we represent the “other” California, outside of metropolitan-urban areas – with perspectives and issues that are important to include in order to get buy-in and to design comprehensive solutions to drive improvements across the state.
People living in cities and counties like ours are especially dependent on statewide transportation direction, policies and programs. And the need is great – for example, current context and road conditions across the North State mean that despite strong interest from local families – very few children can walk or bicycle to school or to a friendʼs house or the local business district. Few of these children have transit options, and we have a high rate of death and injury when people walk and bicycle despite dangers. It is ironic that in this more rural place children and families generally have less opportunity to walk and bicycle than in metropolitan areas. We want to share the perspective and need from these types of communities, and help to identify solutions and approaches that work broadly across California.
Shasta Living Streets is very interested in advancing the work of this advisory committee. We congratulate Keith and look forward to supporting him in this role.
“If your city doesn’t have a protected bike lane yet, it’s being left behind”
“It is no longer just reserved for the Portlands and the Boulders of the world”
“The protected bike lane can make a huge difference, in particular for the average person who maybe doesn’t ride every day,” Klein said. “It will make them feel like ‘I can get on a bike too,’ or ‘I wouldn’t mind if my child rode a bike to school.’”
Impact of a protected bike lane in New York:
Reduced speeding rates from 74 percent to 20 percent
Crashes and injuries of all kinds have dropped by 63 percent
Travel times for motorists did not increase
Congestion did not increase
More than 70 percent of neighborhood residents support the improvement