Monterey County

Bike Lanes For High Volume Traffic Area

Effort to protect Monterey County cyclists

Monterey County Receives Grant Money for Bike Lanes

SALINAS, Calif.- Monterey County just received a $2.7 million federal grant to put bicycle lanes on a 1.7 mile stretch on Davis Road from Blanco Road to Rossi Street.

On Tuesday, a 73-year-old man from Aptos was hit and killed by a car in Pajaro.

For the past 15 years, a bicycle is what gets Frank Henderson from point A to point B totaling about 7,000 miles a year.

"I bike about 20 miles to work every day and then I volunteer at the aquarium every weekend, and bike there," said Henderson.

One day Henderson experienced firsthand how risky riding a bike alongside traffic can be.

"It looked like the vehicle was going to stop but at the last minute it didn't stop and turned and hit me head on. I went over the hood of the car," said Henderson.

He survived with a minor shoulder injury. Now he's a safety instructor with the League of American Cyclists, and a part of the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee for Monterey County, and is an advocate for safe bike lanes.

"Sometimes you'll see bike lanes that are right along parked cars which actually makes bike lanes a door zone, but bike lanes that work give cyclists safety," said Henderson.

The Transportation Agency of Monterey County says Davis Road is a highly traveled route for cyclists to get from Salinas to the Peninsula.

There is a high volume of traffic with no bike lanes which means cars and cyclists have to share the road. This slows down traffic, and makes for dangerous conditions for anyone riding bikes. Two years ago, the county put bike lanes on Blanco.

TAMC says there is no data that supports how many bicyclists there are in the county, or how highly traveled is this 1.7 mile stretch on Davis Road by cyclists, but they could tell us that the ultimate goal is to have equal access for cars and cyclists to get around.

"Actually the more cyclists that are on the road, the more aware they become of cyclists and they learn how to drive around cyclists," said Henderson.

People like Henderson who choose to roll with their two wheels can feel a little more safe.

The grant will cover costs to design the project, environmental analysis, as well as labor and construction.

Monterey County is already looking into their next project which is putting bike lanes on Imjin Road between Imjin Parkway and Reservation Road.

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