Here’s a look at some of the potential bike paths and routes that people are talking about most for the Redding area.
Outlook: The National Park Service already has rough plans for this remote trail that would open up a rugged portion of the park that is currently not easily accessible. Likely within five years.
Project: Link between the Westside Trails and the Swasey Recreation Area.
Outlook: A single-track trail already exists, but it crosses numerous parcels of private property. The Bureau of Land Management (which owns the Swasey Property), the McConnell Foundation (which owns some of the Westside Trails property) and Redding Mountain Biking club have long sought a route for a trail on public property or along a public easement. However, the number of private property owners involved, and their relative lack of cooperation, has stalled the effort. Unlikely in the near future.
Project: A bike path on the Anderson-Cottonwood Irrigation District canal from the Sacramento River through Redding to Anderson.
Outlook: Although the Trails and Bikeways Council of Greater Redding has long advocated for this project as a way to connect neighborhoods, and the concept enjoyed some support at City Hall in years past, ACID has never shown interest and many property owners along the canal are dead set against it. Unlikely.
Project: Highway 299 bike lane from Old Shasta to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area Visitor Center.
Outlook: The BLM is this project’s biggest advocate, as it would connect the agency’s recently paved Middle Creek Trail with Whiskeytown. While the necessary right-of-way exists, funding does not. Likely at some point.
Project: Sulfur Creek Trail from the Turtle Bay Arboretum to the Hornbeck Trail.
Outlook: The right-of-way is in place for a new trail, and the project is a priority for the BLM and McConnell Foundation. It would connect the popular Hornbeck Trail to central Redding and provide some northwest Redding neighborhoods with good access to the Sacramento River Trail and the Sundial Bridge. Likely within a few years.
Project: Highway 273 bike lane from Redding to Anderson.
Outlook: Caltrans has preliminary plans, but no funding for even a serious study, let alone money for construction. Unlikely for many years.
Project: Extension of the Sacramento River Trail roughly along the railroad tracks to Yuba Street in downtown Redding.
Outlook: The Union Pacific Santa Fe Railroad typically does not permit other uses of its right-of-way, but this project is a priority for some city leaders. Likely at some point.
Project: Bike path from the Dana-to-Downtown path, under the freeway, to Park Marina Drive.
Outlook: This project would eliminate the nasty conflicts between cyclists and motorists at the Highway 44/Park Marina Drive/Sundial Bridge Drive ramps. Public agencies already own some, but not all, of the needed right-of-way. Likely at some point.
Project: Extension of the Dana-to-Downtown bike path to Browning Street.
Outlook: The route would run between Interstate 5 and the back side of the commercial strips on Hilltop Drive. Many cyclists already ride the narrow street that parallels the freeway, but the proposed bike path or lane would provide a more formal route and a better link from North Redding residential areas to the bike path. Likely in the near future.
Project: Whiskeytown Lake shoreline trail.
Outlook: Long-distance mountain bikers, runners and horseback riders have dreamed of a 40-plus-mile trail circling the reservoir at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. However, National Park Service representatives see little need for such a trail, as much of the shoreline is already accessible and trail construction would be difficult in some sensitive areas. Unlikely.
Project: Completion of the Clear Creek Greenway.
Outlook: The idea is to be able to travel by trail from the Sacramento River at the mouth of Clear Creek to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Once the Mule Ridge trail project is complete (probably in 2012), two significant gaps will remain – from Mule Ridge to the BLM trails off Cloverdale Road, and from the end of the existing greenway trail near the Gold Pan trailhead to the Sacramento River. Not all of the right-of-way exists, but at least some private property owners are receptive, and several public agencies support the project. Likely at some point.
Project: Deschutes Road bike lane, from Highway 299 in Bella Vista to Balls Ferry Road in Anderson.
Outlook: Deschutes Road could be an excellent north-south corridor for cyclists, but not many riders are willing to brave the existing, narrow, high-speed road. This project is in the Shasta County Bicycle Transportation Plan, but it would cost upward of $7 million and the county has not identified a funding source. Unlikely in the near future.
Paul Shigley is a freelance journalist based in Western Shasta County, CA, and wouldn’t dream of missing the Gold Cup. He may be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
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