$33M bikeway plan pitched for Placer County

By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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New bike lanes along Bell Road and Park Drive in North Auburn are being given priority status in a draft bikeway blueprint for Placer County.

The bike lanes would travel a total of 5.2 miles along semi-rural Bell Road and another 1.1 miles on Park Drive.

Both have been given top priority scores in a report to be presented Wednesday to the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency board.

The draft plan is a joint effort by Placer County and the transportation agency, updating a 2002 plan intended to provide a stated vision for improving bikeways throughout the county.

Also high on the priority list is an 8-mile shared-use path on Highway 89 in the Lake Tahoe area between Squaw Valley Road and the county boundary.The Highway 89 project would cost $14.9 million to complete.

The Bell Road plans are for a 3.45-mile bike lane link between Dry Creek Road and Mulberry Lane and a 1.73-mile route between Highway 49 and Joerger Road. Total cost would be $1.42 million.The Park Drive bike lane would run from Highway 49 to Dry Creek Road and cost $250,000.

In all, the draft plan identifies 19 projects — all currently unfunded — that would add a total of 72.65 miles of biking improvements and cost an estimated total of $33.2 million.

The draft plan being presented for acceptance Wednesday is proposing continued work on a revamped network amounting to what would be 457 miles of bikeways.

“The network resulted from public comments received, recently updated community and specific plans, and a needs and demand analysis that considered access to schools, park and open space, regionally significant trails, transit access and known issue areas,” Senior Planner Aaron Hoyt reported.

Hoyt said highlights of the recommended improvements include:

·        Implementation of the Dry Creek Greenway Trail into Sacramento County and the
Folsom State Recreation Area

·        Bikeway connections to Hidden Falls Regional  Park

·        Upgrading Auburn Folsom Road to include bike lanes

·        Consideration of connecting communities like Newcastle and Loomis by way of a separate bikeway

·       Introducing bike routes into rural communities like Foresthill

The final report, with transportation board approval, will be submitted to Caltrans for acceptance. The board meeting starts at 9 a.m. in the Placer County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 175 Fulweiler Ave., in Auburn.