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Walk & Bike Mendocino is soliciting public input into the drafting of a map of preferred bike routes for the City of Ukiah. The routes will be identified with odd numbers assigned to North/South routes and even numbers used for East/West routes. Directional signage will be mounted along the routes. The map will be used to assist bicyclists, particularly new bicyclists, in identifying the best routes around town. The need for a bike route map and directional markers was identified during the update of the Ukiah Bike and Pedestrian Plan earlier this year.
The best route for bicycling is not always the most obvious, especially to visitors unfamiliar with the city; the use of markings and signs can help guide cyclists to desirable locations. Locals who want to try bicycling can also struggle with finding the most comfortable route.
“One of the challenges facing new bicyclists is finding the most comfortable routes to get around town,” said Walk & Bike Lead Safety Educator Erich Sommer. “Too often, a new bicyclist will ride a couple times, find themselves on a busy road with fast moving traffic, and quit riding because it doesn’t feel safe. We hope with the directional markers new riders will have a more positive experience and keep riding.”
Walk & Bike Mendocino is also encouraging input on the design for the on-street markers. Many communities incorporate a city logo or point of interest in the marker design. Other designs feature variations on highway route markers.
Bike route signs and other on-street bikeway markings have been shown to improve safety by alerting motorists to expect cyclists and reinforcing that cyclists have a legal right to be on the road.
In addition to the bike route plan, Walk and Bike Mendocino is seeking input for where bike racks should be placed throughout town. The need for improved bike parking was also noted in the Ukiah Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan. Improved parking is associated with increases in biking and can help local businesses.
Walk & Bike Mendocino is a program of North Coast Opportunities and is dedicated to creating happy and healthy communities by making it easy to walk and bike. An initial draft route plan and other information about walking and biking throughout Mendocino County can be found at walkbikemendo.org. Comments can be submitted by phone at 467-3217 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.