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Downtown Chico Bike Lane Trial Wrapping Up

Community members have mixed reviews about the city's trial period of turning one of the vehicle lanes on both 4th and 3rd Streets into bike lanes.

Posted: May. 2, 2018 3:54 AM
Updated: May. 2, 2018 10:51 AM

Chico, Calif.-- A trial run of turning driving lanes into bike lanes downtown is underway, and so far, community members in Chico are still working to get the hang of the changes.

You'll see this both on 3rd and 4th Streets running through downtown from Salem to Flume.

It's a plan called "bike buffering" to improve safety in downtown Chico; it comes as a possible solution to continuing issues with drivers and delivery trucks driving or parking in the bike lane and a push to encourage green transportation.

"Being healthy and being outside and getting exercise is getting more and more popular. There's a learning curve but I think the people who are not cyclists will learn that this is a good thing!" said Lisa Collins, local biker and member of the Chico Triathlon Club.

"The more that the city seems to commit to the population that wants to do that it seems the more people that would want to be enthusiastic and re-commit to using bikes as well," said Giovanni-Lopez Quezada, a Chico State student.

Some drivers are counting the days until the temporary lane stickers come off, saying it's been too congested and actually more dangerous.

"If we lost half the lanes to bike lanes downtown that could definitely be a problem but so far it seems like we;ve been able to share the lanes pretty well," said Quezada.

Others say this makes it safer.

"If you're riding along in the bike lane and there's a car parked there in the bike lane you have to ride in the traffic, sometimes it surprises the motorists when they're driving - it's a little bit challenging," said Collins.

The lane markers cost the city about $500 to install and the work was done mostly by volunteers.

They'll be taken up in the coming week or so - but for now, drivers need to obey the new rules of the road.

If there's enough public support, the city will look at securing a transportation grant to make wider bike lanes a permanent part of the downtown infrastructure.

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