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Petition - Delay Removing a Lane on California St to Research a Protected Urban Trail from the River Trail to Downtown

Petition - Delay Removing a Lane on California St to Research a Protected Urban Trail from the River Trail to Downtown

We can have 3 motorist lanes and a bike lane. If we take a lane prematurely from motorists we risk a community backlash for future cycling infrastructure improvements and risk retaliation on the road towards cyclists. An Urban Trail from the River Trail to downtown could truly help revitalize downtown  with the user base already in place, while the section being discussed on Califorina Street does not currently have safe network acess for cyclist to warrant lane removal. Also bike lane big enough for people to drive in will only encourage people to do so. Let's not make waves over a facility that does not serve the majority of people on bikes in this community.

To Sign Petition Click Here or below

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 10.46.47 PM
Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 10.46.47 PM

If We Want the Masses to Ride We Must Provide Physically Protected Urban Trails

If We Want the Masses to Ride We Must Provide Physically Protected Urban Trails

Most of us in the community have been to and used, or at least know of the Sacramento River Trail.  It connects the Downtown Mall, Bechelli, Sundial Bridge, Turtle Bay, Hilltop Bluffs, Cadwell Park, Old Shasta, Keswick, Stanford Hills and Lake Redding Estates together without needing to come into contact with vehicles. This trail is great for recreation and helps some people commute from one part of town to another. But we can do better. There is a lot of chatter about adding bike lanes and buffers for commuting in the down town area. Thus increasing business and even helping to revilitize downtown. This is all well and good, but you will only get a certain type of cyclist to use these facilities. There are different types of cyclists and they are willing to use different kinds of facilities if provided.

  • Strong and Fearless - Rides anywhere, just because they feel comfortable on the open road doesn't mean they wouldn't mind having the best kind of facilities. Very few people are this way. 
  • Enthused and Confident - Uses bike lanes and bigger shouldered roads, changes route to avoid conflicts, really likes places like the River Trail. This is a slightly larger group than Strong and Fearless.
  • Interested but Concerned - Your classic, puts the bike on the back of the car to get to the River Trail because they just don't feel safe sharing the road. This is often the majority of people in a community.
  • The last group is, "no way, no how will I ride a bike!"

If we connect major shopping & dining areas with neighborhoods, schools, churches and community centers. Use physically protected urban trails that connect to the existing River Trail, we can really start to help revitilize this community with the bike and all the benefits that go along with it for transportation, lifestyle and recreation.

Now we have academic proof of this, Portland State University's National Institute of Transportation and Communities released it's study of separated on street facilities. People for Bikes has a shorter break down of this study. Below is their info graphic breaking down the increase in usage. I think we can do better.

Most of these are just separated by reflective plastic flex post or parking spaces.  In an age of distracted driving and ever increasing anger towards cyclist. When and where we can, we should physically protect cyclist with something like short sections of planters with trees or shrubs.  Or circumvent the streets all together with paths like the River Trail. This is not to say that in certain situations a conventional bike lane or shoulder widening should not be done. Think of the Urban Trail as an extension of the River Trail.  Mimicking the main arteries of the town. We also have a lot of opportunity with the creeks & greenbelts throughout our city.  Think, Churn Creek Trail, dirt on one side paved on the other.

We must also do this intelligently as to not over promise and under deliver results. By simply extending the River Trail into parts of town with a physically protected Urban Trail we have a user base that will use the new sections that are constructed. If we were just to construct an urban trail along California Street without connecting it to the River Trail how would people safely get there to use it? It would effectively connect to nothing. An empty path could lead to backlash against the project and future projects.

If you wish to voice your opinion on California Street, (here is mine)  come to Caltrans open house on thursday

So whats REALLY up with California Street

So whats REALLY up with California Street

If you have been following the Redding news in the last week about California Street you may have the impression that in order to have a bike lane you must take away a lane for cars, this is simply not true. The Record Searchlight Article & KRCR News do not make it clear exactly what is going on, it seems that the choice is either take away a lane to get a bike lane or nothing depending on which source you read. It is hard to tell that you can have 3 travel lanes for vehicles and a bike lane which was the original plan by Caltrans for months.

On Friday, May 16th I went on a ride with the Director of CalTrans District 2, John Bulinski, the City of Redding's Public Works Director, Brian Crane, and a group of interested cyclists. The ride was organized by Caltrans and promoted through Healthy Shasta's calendar of Bike Month events to allow for the community to engage with transportation officials about the upcoming possible addition of a bike lane to sections of California and Pine streets (State Highway 273) through downtown that are slated for a pavement maintenance project this summer.

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An Open Letter to Caltrans & The City of Redding Regarding California Street - You Can Keep 3 Lanes and add a Bike Lane

An Open Letter to Caltrans & The City of Redding Regarding California Street - You Can Keep 3 Lanes and add a Bike Lane

There has been a lot of buzz around California Street over the past few days. I have a few thoughts I would like to share. I would like you to hear my perspective, even if you don’t agree with me, I want to hear yours. Then I would like to work with you to create our vision, not just for California Street but for creating a cycling effect here that truly makes Redding a more bicycle friendly place to live, work, play and visit.

Please read below my open letter to Caltrans & The City of Redding regarding California Street.

To Caltrans District 2 & The City of Redding


It appears from the news that Caltrans is considering taking California Street to two lanes to add a bike lane. This is contrary to what I heard on the May 16th Caltrans bicycle ride that lane removal was not being considered.

I never thought I would be advocating against what might be considered a good bicycle improvement at first glance. I am a driver of a large vehicle, also a motorcyclist not just a bicyclist.

I have experienced more aggressive acts than I can count directed at me by angry drivers in my 20+ years of cycling experience when riding exactly how and where I am supposed to be according to the facility provided to me. If they take time to exchange words their message is clear: they feel I should not be on the road. So I prefer to not be on the road if it appears that I (as a cyclist) am taking it away from them.  These incidents include but are not limited to; baseball bats, baby seats, full cups of tobacco chew, urine multiple attempts to run me over from a single driver, and guns brandished, yes plural guns. The incidents have happened while riding with groups, by myself and even directed at cyclist that are clearly women I am riding with. Cops mostly either don’t care, can not enforce the law due to evidence requirements or are to busy.

I prefer to do nothing rather than the wrong thing on California Street. I fear the headline: “Driver Angry About Lane Removal Kills Cyclist.”

I will only support lane or parking removal on California Street if a protected facility is being put in its place.

I think the right thing for now, is to put in a bike lane on California Street with out removing a lane. By not removing a lane at this time this project (and future projects) avoid backlash and anger directed at unprotected humans riding bicycles on the road.

In either scenario, 3 lanes or 2 lanes you can still have a bike lane. This way I have a place to ride while not “taking” anything away from motorists.

I would ultimately like to support the removal of a lane to install a protected facility that connects the River Trail to downtown. A fully protected “Urban Trail” would be the safest investment and be the most appealing facility to help create a vibrant revitalized downtown.

Respectfully, Carson Blume

Want to know more? Read the next post: So whats REALLY up with California Street