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Plan calls for new bicycle paths

• Up to $14 million would be spent to add 33 miles

Posted: June 26, 2008 1:28 a.m.
Updated: August 27, 2008 5:03 a.m.

The city of Santa Clarita wants more riders and fewer drivers on the city streets, according to a non-motorized transportation plan approved by the City Council this week.

The long-term plan calls for $14 million in bicycling improvements, including 11 miles of new bike paths, 13 miles of new bike lanes and nine miles of bike routes, which are shared with motorists.

"It's about time," Councilwoman Marsha McLean said at Tuesday's meeting.

"I think this is an important component in how we live," said Councilwoman Laurene Weste.

The city already has about 30 miles of off-street bike paths, 13 miles of bike lanes and two miles of bike routes.

The plan calls for the creation of a city staff position to implement the plan and the plan would be updated every five years.

"Accepting this is going to be a benchmark of this community going forward," said Chet Kostrzewa, a board member for the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition. "Historically the focus in this community has been on recreational aspects.

"There's a very strong backbone of recreational facilities, but we need to keep in mind that this is a transportation plan."

The plan calls for more Safe Routes at local schools to bring more visible signs and crosswalk improvements to the streets in school zones.

Also planned is $8 million in citywide pedestrian upgrades that include more sidewalks and paseos and improvements to pedestrian access to bus and Metrolink stations.

"Overall, the book is a complete package," said Maria Gutzeit, a former president of the bicycle coalition. "I look forward to seeing Santa Clarita becoming known for all sorts of aspects, not just the trails."


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