Bike Path Reopening Attracts The Crowds

takeoutthumb

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.

shigley-mugshotPaul 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 pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

Avatar
has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

1 Response

  1. Avatar Jim Dyar says:

    "A little bit of grumbling about the bike path being unnecessary"?

    I would argue it was the MOST necessary part of the project. Finally there exists a safe corridor for bikes and pedestrians from the east to the west side of Redding. Not including the bike/pedestrian corridor would have been a titanic, amazing blunder.

    Including it is a big sign of hope (and a big thank you to those responsible for its inclusion). We have an amazing trail system along the Sacramento River that's a huge draw for visitors and potential residents. The new route across the 44 bridge not only connects the two sides of Redding, but is another way for people to engage with the river.

    Glad to hear that lots of folks are using the trail already. Cities that are even slightly forward thinking do these kinds of things.