The West County Trail route goes along Morris St. in Sebastopol between the Railroad Forest Trail and Eddy Lane, thereby avoiding the bike-unfriendly downtown streets. We’re still waiting for bike route signs and have been agitating for bike lanes along this popular car and truck route (to avoid congestion at Petaluma Ave. and Main St.), but the word is that dedicated lanes aren’t in the cards.

Sharrows in Pittsburg, PA (Bike PGH)

Sharrows in Pittsburg, PA (Bike PGH)

The main problem is that Morris — as wide as it appears — is two feet short of the regulation width that would allow two 11 ft. vehicular travel lanes + two 5 ft. bike lanes + two 5 ft. parking areas. While two bike lanes could be achieved if parking were eliminated on one side, this option was deemed less desirable for a variety of reasons. The resolution going forward to the City Council from the Planning Commission as part of an overall plan for street, sidewalk and streetscape improvements for the Northeast Area would allow for two 11 ft. vehicular travel and two 9 ft. sharrows lanes used for bikes and parking.  The last section of the resolution (available in the Staff Reports to the Aug. 18 City Council meeting) reads:

5. Travel by bicycle shall be encouraged. Through its own City projects or by requiring developers to perform appropriate fair share improvements, consistent with Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, as feasible, bicycle lanes, sharrows, and bike routes shall be provided within the existing and any new roadways while maintaining safe vehicle travel and existing on-street parking. Specific improvements requirements shall be set by the City Engineer

The Commission also supported the addition of the following from the Calif. Complete Streets Act of 2008:

This bill would require, commencing January 1, 2011, that the legislative body of a city or county, upon any substantive revision of the circulation element of the general plan, modify the circulation element to plan for a balanced, multimodal transportation network that meets the needs of all users of streets, roads, and highways, defined to include motorists,
pedestrians, bicyclists, children, persons with disabilities, seniors, movers of commercial goods, and users of public transportation, in a manner that is suitable to the rural, suburban, or urban context of the general plan. By requiring new duties of local officials, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The resolution was on the agenda for Aug. 18, but tabled until the next Council Meeting on Setp. 1.