Modesto’s Bike Lane Mystery Solved

Modesto’s Bike Lane Mystery Solved

from The Valley Citizen By Bruce Frohman

bike lanes increase safetyThe City of Modesto recently installed bike lanes on Briggsmore Expressway between Prescott Road and McHenry Avenue. Some citizens have been wondering whether the expenditure represents the best use of limited public funds.

After a strong lobbying effort by bicycle riding advocates in the 1980’s, when Modesto’s General Plan was updated, bike lanes became a part of the process for infrastructure improvement. A bike path was built in Thousand Oaks Park, following Dry Creek. Eventually, the path was extended out to Claus Road.

When the General Plan was updated in the early 2000s, the advocates were still lobbying. They were asking why a city-wide bike lane network was not making the progress called for in the General Plan.

At the behest of the City Council at the time, City Manager Jack Crist implemented a program whereby whenever an arterial street is reconstructed or repaved, bike lanes would also be striped on the new pavement. The reasoning was that over time every arterial in the city would have bike lanes.

The program provided a way of creating bike lanes simply by using a little extra paint on each job. A grid of bike lanes would eventually connect every part of the community.

Briggsmore Expressway Bicycle Lane

When the western section of the Briggsmore Expressway was repaved in 2014, the city followed the mandate of the general plan and the wishes of the City Council. The number of riders who will use the bike lane is not at issue. The logic has always been that the more bike lanes created, the more people will ride. When more people ride bicycles, there’s less air pollution.

The entire length of the expressway does not have a bicycle lane. However, as sections are repaved, eventually the entire length of the roadway will provide a crosstown bike lane.

Fragmented Bike Lane between East and West Campus of MJC

Citizens have also noticed an incomplete bicycle lane to connect the east and west campus of Modesto Junior College. The lane runs along a short stretch of Carpenter Road between Brink Road and North Ninth Street. The lane disappears as one goes south on North Ninth Street. The disappearance is due to the fact that North Ninth Street has not been repaved in over 30 years. When the street is eventually rehabilitated, the bike lane will be extended to the MJC east campus.

Bike Lanes as a Source of Revenue

The City of Modesto is occasionally able to secure grants from the State of California and the federal government to build new bike lanes. Funding for many of our bike lanes has come from sources outside the city. In fact, such funding often helps pay part of the cost of rehabilitating streets. Therefore, the construction of bike lanes has not come at the expense of fewer police officers and has not contributed to public service deficiencies.

For Your Health

Bicycle riding promotes good health and clean air. Other social benefits of bicycle riding should also be readily evident. Building bicycle lanes is a quality of life issue. Better communities build bike lanes. There probably would be more support for the program if citizens better understood it.


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President’s Message October 2014

Oh, my!  The Fruit Yard Century is almost here!

Bring friends, family, acquaintances, anyone who can ride!  The 28 mile ride will have a new restaurant sponsoring the rest stop – Galleto’s and Snelling will have Cahoot’s. Ciclistas del Valle (DdV) will be sponsoring one rest stop as will Doctors Medical Center (DMC), Interstate Transmissions and Esmeralda’s.  Let’s support our sponsors and get the word out!

Remember while we’re having all this food and fun, we’re supporting 2nd Harvest’s Food 4 Thought program – sending backpacks of food home, to hungry families!

It’s gonna be great all around.  Ride it!

It’s not too late to order a jersey with our other sponsors, too.  Momentum Real Estate, 10 East Kitchen & Tap House and CdV all helped with a sponsoring an ad, on our event jerseys.  My new long sleeve cycling jersey looks fantastic!  I love that the sleeves say; “Give Me 3 – It’s the Law!”


President’s Message September 2014

Did you notice we have a local organized ride scheduled almost every weekend in September?  Please help support our local rides by riding them!  Let’s make bicycling visible in Stanislaus County.

In doing so, we are making it safer and adding a visible voice to our sport. But even more importantly, PLEASE help with our own ride, the FRUIT YARD CENTURY. I got a handful of volunteers when I sent out the last request and spreadsheet, but I need MANY more.  Save SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11th and help SCBC put on this fantastic ride and our only fund raiser for the year.  Let me know that you can

To help, contact:

Enjoy the beautiful fall riding weather,


President’s Message August 2014

We are looking forward to a fantastic Fruit Yard Century.  I will be sending around a spreadsheet this month for all volunteer positions.

Please help SCBC with their only fund raiser of the year and volunteer or ride.  With this ride, we help buy helmets for kids, support bicyclists with cancer, facilitate public awareness of bicycling, train ride leaders and feed hungry families through our major donation to the Food For Thought Program at 2nd Harvest Food Bank.

Wow!  You can make a difference through helping at our Fruit Yard Century this year, or riding in the event, and telling your friends and coworkers about it. Sign up or volunteer today!  Also, take a look at this year’s Fruit Yard Century event jersey.

SCBC President