California Department of Transportation
Date: May 8, 2014
Contact: Tamie McGowen
Phone: Office (916) 657-5060
CALTRANS DIRECTOR TO LEAD BICYCLE TOUR THROUGH DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO TO PROMOTE HEALTHY TRANSPORTATION DURING BIKE MONTH
SACRAMENTO – May is Bike Month, and to underscore his department’s support for bicycling, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty will set out on his bike ride through downtown Sacramento on Friday, May 9, touting cycling as a form of active transportation that decreases traffic congestion, improves air quality, and enhances physical health.
“Moving forward, Californians will see more bike and pedestrian projects as part of an integrated state transportation system,” said Dougherty. “Over the next ten years, more than $1 billion from the state’s new Active Transportation Program will be distributed for biking and walking projects in California.”
Caltrans may be known for highways, but its new mission statement (“Caltrans provides a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability”) reflects an agency that also embraces biking, walking, and people-friendly streets.
To demonstrate its commitment, Caltrans endorses both the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials Bike Guide and the National Association of City Transportation Officials Urban Bikeway Design Guide – only the third state in the nation to take this proactive step.
Caltrans’ 2012 California Household Travel Survey showed that the percentage of California residents walking, biking, or using public transportation on a typical day has more than doubled since 2000. Nearly 23 percent of household trips were taken by walking, biking, and public transportation. In 2000, that share was only 11 percent.
“Half of all trips people make are less than three miles. These are ideal opportunities for people of all ages and levels of experience to choose an alternate mode of transportation,” said Dougherty. Studies have shown that of people who tried commuting by bicycle for the first time during May is Bike Month, 32 percent continued to do so six months later.
In its annual assessment of bicycling in all 50 states, the League of American Bicyclists recently announced that California soared to the ninth bicycle-friendliest state in the nation, up from the 19th spot just a year before.
During tomorrow’s ride, Dougherty will depart from Caltrans’ Headquarters and will be joined by Jim Brown, executive director of Sacramento Area Bike Advocates, and Ed Cox, bicycle coordinator for the city of Sacramento. Along the ride, the trio will highlight examples of well-designed bicycle lanes and areas where opportunities exist for future active transportation projects.
Caltrans social media (www.twitter.com/CaltransHQ) will also tweet live from the ride, sharing photos and updates on points and items of interest.
In late June, Caltrans and the city of West Sacramento will begin installing at the Tower Bridge Gateway and 3rd Street a device that can distinguish bicycles from cars and change the timing of a traffic signal to give cyclists more time to cross the intersection.Traditionally, Caltrans is a major sponsor of Bike Month events in Sacramento and its employees will also participate in Sacramento’s Bike to Work Day on May 15 and National Bike to Work Day on May 16. For additional information on Bike Month events in the Sacramento region, visit: http://www.mayisbikemonth.com/
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