I felt compelled to write when my daughter, a Modesto Junior College student, declared she was going to ride her bike to class. She boasted several reasons for doing so: it's quicker and easier, and no wasted time trying to find parking. It's better for the environment, not to mention it saves her gas. This idea sounded good, in theory.
Going to the East Campus is a breeze for bikers -- very user friendly.
Try riding to the West Campus and it's a different story. Crossing the Briggsmore Overpass might be considered a death wish. Making such a trek over a busy overpass, where people aren't expecting pedestrians or bicyclists, is risky at best. My daughter said she actually saw the startled look on the faces of drivers as they had to suddenly brake because she was crossing the merge lane. The overpass at the end of Needham Street is only worse, with a sidewalk only on one side. And, again, there are seriously scary merging issues. There is a shuttle service between campuses; however it stops running at 5:36 p.m. The last class my daughter attends is at 7 p.m.
It would be great vision for our city planners to incorporate a safe, convenient means to connect both campuses for those who are trying to be environmentally aware by choosing alternative transportation.