City plan boosts biking, walking to ease car traffic

Blazing more bicycle trails across Santa Clarita and improvements at major intersections to make it safer for pedestrians are among suggestions in an ambitious city effort to get residents walking, riding and using public transit.

•••

Published April 22, 2007 by The LA Daily News 

SANTA CLARITA – Blazing more bicycle trails across Santa Clarita and improvements at major intersections to make it safer for pedestrians are among suggestions in an ambitious city effort to get residents walking, riding and using public transit.

Santa Clarita has completed a comprehensive draft of its Biking and Walking Non-Motorized Plan, compiled with input from residents and set for public discussion May21.

The goal is to ease the city's crippling traffic congestion and encourage future alternatives to driving about town. The 156-page plan, on the city's Web site at www.santa-clarita.com/bikeandwalk, promotes walking and bicycling, encourages use of public transit and even addresses those who prefer to travel by horse.

It includes direction for future investments in bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs, including recommendations that developers cover some costs.

The May 21 meeting will be held on at 6p.m. in the Century Room at City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd. The public can comment on the proposal until June1.

Currently there are 14 miles of bicycle lanes on city streets, as well as 30miles of off-street bike trails and paseos. The city has 80 lockers for bicycle parking at various locations, and nearly half are rented.

The draft plans call for more bike routes along Bouquet Canyon Road and Wiley Canyon Road to connect to other bicycle facilities. City planners are working with developers to make sure new neighborhoods are pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

Ideas to promote walking include adding sidewalks in the Valencia Industrial Center and adding timers to "walk" signals at big intersections.