A push to make Downtown Redding more bike friendly could mean the loss of a car lane on a busy street.
Caltrans officials will sit down with City of Redding staffers on Wednesday to consider putting a bike lane on California Street.
Parts California Street is a state highway that falls under Caltrans’ responsibility.
Caltrans will be adding new asphalt as part of a maintenance project in a little more than a week. It is the perfect time to consider making a change.
Acting Deputy District Director for Maintenance and Operations Don Anderson said it’s a lot more than just putting stripes on the pavement.
“I think people need to understand this might be just the first step in getting actual bike lanes downtown,” Anderson said. “We may end up with one. It may not be exactly what we have in the future. It may take more studies. But again, this is just a maintenance project. We will come through in another five years and we’ll be doing something different.”
Anne Thomas, the Director of Shasta Living Streets, a local group that advocates for getting out of our cars and onto our bikes, said the time is right and that everybody wins.
“We’ve seen in our community ‘when we build it they will come’,” Thomas said. “So they don’t show up on streets that are not welcoming, safe and convenient. But if we build a better bike way on California Street, it will bring purchase power, people from the River Trail to downtown to help support business here. It’s great for tourism. It’s great for families.”
The project is set to start June 6th.