Since the first Placer County Regional Bikeway Master Plan was developed in 2002, we have seen new growth in the region – and certainly more people on their bicycles! Coupled with updated statewide planning requirements, it was time for PCTPA and Placer County to update the more than decade-and-a-half old Bikeway Master Plan.
In 2016, PCTPA kicked off the plan update by reaching out to the community through a series of public workshops, stakeholder meetings and a virtual community workshop, in which more than 750 Placer County residents provided their input.
With the help of community members, PCTPA developed a regional vision of creating a bikeway network with improved connections, safe and convenient access, as well as a goal of utilizing Placer County’s scenic bikeway as a tourist destination for economic development opportunity. Together PCTPA and the community identified gaps in the current bikeway network and developed recommended improvements.
In April and May of 2018, PCTPA presented the recommended bikeway network plan to eleven municipal advisory committees from Kings Beach to Sheridan, the Bikeway Advisory Committee, and to the PCTPA Board of Directors. “Through the input we received, we have crafted a bikeway plan that connects our rural communities, focuses on closing gaps in the system, and identifies improvements to roadways to better accommodate the cyclists who are already riding on roads in less than ideal situations,” says Aaron Hoyt, Senior Planner at PCTPA.
The recommended network includes traditional bike lane improvements, but also features best practices such as buffered bike lanes on select roads with higher vehicle traffic, wider shoulders on touring routes to accommodate cyclist’s uphill climbs, and wayfinding signage in communities such as Newcastle, Sheridan, and Foresthill.
PCTPA was selective in identifying future bikeway improvements as not all unincorporated roads are ideal candidates for cyclists; instead PCTPA found where people are already riding and worked to improve existing facilities. Each improvement in the plan is tailored to the type of cyclist and terrain. “Having ridden more than 220,000 miles as a County in the 2017 May is Bike Month challenge, it is clear that bicycling is an important component to the high quality of life we enjoy in Placer County,” says Hoyt.