Evidently, you don’t need me to remind you that the Dana to Downtown bike path has reopened.
Caltrans’ conducted a grand opening for the bike path alongside Highway 44 in Redding in late September, then promptly closed the bike path so contractors could finish it. That was awkward. But the 12-foot-wide multi-use path reopened about two weeks ago – and everyone seems to know it.
During a leisurely bike ride on the path earlier this week, I tried counting the people. I lost track at 40. There were people cycling, running and walking for exercise. Families were enjoying the views of the river and wildlife, including salmon in the Sacramento River. I spied a couple of cyclists who appeared to be commuting. I even saw a guy toting a sack full of groceries from Food Maxx.
There has been a little bit of grumbling about how the bike path was an unnecessary frill in the $66 million project to widen the highway and improve interchanges. The traffic jam of pedestrians and cyclists suggests otherwise. People who are not riding in a motorized vehicle needed a way to get across the river and under the freeway in a safe fashion. They now have one route. How about a couple more?
• Speaking of Caltrans … Paving operations have resumed on Highway 44 east of Palo Cedro. Today, November 4, crews are scheduled to work between Deschutes and Silverbridge roads. On Friday and next week, crews will move east to the Millville Plains area, and then start up the hill between Bear Creek and Dersch Road. Expect one-way traffic controls and delays of up to eight minutes.
• You’re going to have to hold it. Caltrans has closed the Hillcrest rest area between Montgomery Creek and Hatchet Mountain Pass on Highway 299 until May. Also closed until May is the rest area on Highway 36, four miles east of Chester. Closed from November 30 through April 1 will be the rest stop on Highway 44 a few miles east of Shingletown, and the Massack rest stop on Highway 77 east of Quincy. The rest stops are closing for the winter because of budget cutbacks, low seasonal demand and poor access caused by snow, according to a Caltrans spokeswoman.
• Just one more Caltrans item … The agency recently announced the latest round of “Safe Routes to School” grants. As you can guess, I’m a big believer in this program. It creates safe access for kids walking, or riding bicycles or skateboards, to school. I sort of feel like our area got gypped, but people tell me that we’ve made out well in past grant-funding cycles. Anyway, a $200,000 grant will help build a sidewalk on Loma Vista Drive in Redding for Lassen View Elementary School students. A $150,000 grant will help fund a sidewalk and multi-use path along Cloverdale Road and Oak Street near Happy Valley School. Another $150,000 will go toward a bike path and a bike lane along East Lake Street in Mount Shasta to serve students at three schools.
• Vendor space is still available for the Native Artisans Arts & Crafts Fair scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 13 at the LIFE Center, 4440 Shasta Dam Boulevard, in Shasta Lake. Twenty dollars will buy you booth space. If you only want to shop, admission is free. Organizers promise plenty of live entertainment as well as Indian tacos and fry bread. Yum. Vendors should contact Danielle Brewster at (530) 275-1513, extension 105.
• Yes, I pedal a bicycle. But one thing I love about this area is the nonstop motorsports action. While most of the rest of the country has shut down for winter, our racers simply move indoors for “outlaw kart” racing at the Pauline Davis Pavilion on the Tehama District Fairgrounds in Red Bluff. If you’ve never seen the karts pull wheel stands as they scream around the dirt oval, I highly recommend checking it out. Just remember to step outside the building every so often for a breath a fresh air. The next race is this Saturday, November 6.
Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and is “on your left.” He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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