We were up early this morning and rode our bikes across town to a favorite café for coffee and pastries. From there we cut across town and stopped at the hardware store to pick up a few items. It was nothing remarkable at all, other than that it was remarkably enjoyable. We were once again struck by the fact that we never get tired of riding our bikes together, and that driving our car will never provide the same enjoyment. We were also thankful that approximately 25-30% of our route was on separated bike paths with nearly all of the remainder on marked bike lanes.
On the way home, we remembered that a new section of bike trail was recently opened, so we took a detour to check out the new path. It was worth the side trip. This new section ties together a network of trails on the east side of town with the downtown area and the Amtrak transit station; it’s one small piece of a larger plan to tie together a number of trails throughout the surrounding area. It’s a beautiful stretch of trail that follows a creek through a small canyon between housing developments. If the considerable amount of foot and bicycle traffic today was any indication, the trail is going to be a resounding success and well worth the effort and expense.
Our hometown of Roseville, CA is designated a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. The designation is awarded to communities with a record of promoting bicycling in five categories: education, engineering, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation. Only communities with established records in two or more of the five categories receive awards. Since its inception in 2003, the League has given awards to 96 out of the 245 communities that applied.
Our city is by no means a bicycling nirvana, but we’re fortunate to have a knowledgeable and dedicated full-time Bikeway Planner in Mike Dour. Given the difficulties of the current economic conditions in California and the generally low priority bicycle facilities are given within most city budgets, Mike does a remarkable job: we have 83 miles of on-street bike lanes, 27 miles of off-street bike paths, and 49 bicycle lockers for long-term parking for employees and commuters, all in a city with a population of just over 100,000.
The following video is an outreach piece the City created to promote bike trails and bicycle use. You can also view a map of our local bicycling facilities here. There may be some cities that would benefit from looking at what’s being accomplished in Roseville.