A group of Caltrans workers, including Director Malcolm Dougherty, celebrated the recent release of the new statewide bike and pedestrian plan with a multimodal field trip. The group took their bikes by train from Sacramento to Emeryville before riding the Alex Zuckerman Bicycle/Pedestrian Path along the Oakland Bay Bridge to the new Vista Point. For many of the Caltrans workers and partners who rode along, it was their first ride on the bridge.
The plan, called Toward an Active California, was created to push better bicycling and pedestrian paths and access throughout the state by 2040, employing a variety of techniques and philosophies.
The first priority action items in the plan include:
- Putting bicycle and pedestrian safety information into the DMV driver’s handbook
- Researching methods for setting and enforcing speed limits (as opposed to the current 85 percent rule the state uses to avoid charges of creating speed traps)
- Closing the gaps in existing bike and pedestrian networks
- Developing resources on best-practice bicycle and pedestrian design treatments
- Rethinking safety analysis to reduce the high risks faced by vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians
Caltrans acknowledged some of the difficulties they will face moving forward with the plan, but it remains optimistic regarding the changes. Keeping track of cycling data is one of those difficulties, as are using the data carefully and keeping in mind that different areas and cities have their own ideas, concepts and sensibilities for making roads and paths safer and more useful.