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Whiney Santa Clarita Drivers Can't Handle New Bike Lanes
For years, the city of Santa Clarita (my former employer) has made great strides in furthering non-motorized transit throughout the suburban valley chock full of six-lane roads with 45 or sometimes higher speed limits. The high speed limits combined with hills plus soccer moms or pedal-to-the-medal teens are not exactly attractive for street biking without some kind of safety net. A lot of the city is connected by 60-plus miles of off street trails, paseos (well-maintained HOA paths open to the public) and street bike lanes with more to come, pending funding.
One of the newest bike lanes that connects the Valencia and Saugus neighborhoods has a cushy safety buffer between the lane and car traffic as local blogger Jeff Wilson shows in the above video. Apparently, some citizens are angry, which has caused a big debate on Wilson's blog, SCV Talk.
“The lane now is so narrow, my minivan won’t fit,” said Heide Prinsze, 52, to The Signal newspaper. “It’s a nightmarish road as is. We don’t need bike lanes that no one would use. I feel like I’ve been ambushed."
Wilson's video shows Decoro Road as not that busy and in past years, we used it because it was a breeze to travel along. Luckily, you can ride most sidewalks in the city, per municipal code:
12.96.010 Riding on Sidewalks. Subject to the provisions of this chapter, bicycles may be ridden on all sidewalks except the following:
A. A person shall not operate any bicycle in a business district, as defined in Section 235 of the California Vehicle Code, except at a permanent or temporary driveway or at specific locations where the Director finds that such locations are suitable and has placed appropriate signs or markings.
B. Where designated bicycle lanes exist on adjacent roadways.
C. The Director may designate and declare certain portions of any sidewalk to be prohibited for bicycle use and shall place appropriate signs or markings. (Ord. 09-12 § 1, 7/14/09)