The city on Wednesday night will take another step, so to speak, toward making streets friendly to walking. And for bicycles, wheelchairs and other means of getting around that do not involve cars.
A meeting will be held on the Active Transportation Plan, which suggests bike lanes, sidewalk improvements and other measures. The event will give the public a chance to suggest refinements to the draft before it goes to the Turlock Planning Commission and then to the City Council for adoption.
“The city has been working with a consultant during the past year, holding public workshops, bike rodeos and other outreach opportunities to gather input on ways to make Turlock a more bike and pedestrian friendly city,” said an email from John Lieswyn, an associate in the Sacramento office of the consultant, Alta Planning + Design.
A bike rodeo, for the record, uses obstacle courses and other challenges to teach safe riding to children.
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The plan is part of an effort in Turlock and beyond to reclaim some of the street space from the cars and trucks that have dominated them for decades. Advocates say this could reduce fuel use and pollution, preserve farmland via compact urban growth and help people be healthy.
The draft’s high-priority bike routes include all of Cristoffersen Parkway across north Turlock, long stretches of Lander Avenue in the south and Golden State Boulevard through the middle, and a few other streets.
The plan has a detailed list of ideas for each elementary and middle school. Cunningham School, for example, has new bike lanes just west of the campus, but they do not connect with Lander. Many of the children pass that busy street on their way to and from school.
The plan suggests a bicycle safety campaign and a program in which volunteers fix up donated bikes for children who need them. These and other ideas mesh with the national Safe Routes to Schools program, which pays for some improvements.
“Some Turlock residents still view kids on our streets as irregular,” the plan said. “The strongest Safe Routes to School efforts are those that, over time, begin to make change to the community culture by normalizing walking and bicycling.”
Wednesday’s meeting will coincide with that of the Turlock Parks, Recreation and Arts Commission. The finished plan is expected to go before the Planning Commission on Feb. 5 and the City Council in March.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2385.
AT A GLANCE
What: Meeting on Turlock Active Transportation Plan
When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: City Hall, 156 S. Broadway
What else: Snacks will be served