Since our City’s incorporation, I have had the unique privilege of watching and contributing to the growth of our bike trail network which now extends over 115 miles. Our 38 miles of paved bike paths and 30 miles of on-street bike lanes are just a couple of reasons the City of Santa Clarita received the bronze-level, Bicycle Friendly Community award from the League of American Bicyclists. These are also reasons why Santa Clarita has become a great location for leisurely and competitive bike rides such as the world-class cycling event, Amgen Tour of California. This year in May will mark the ninth year we are hosting a stage of the tour!
With all the smooth trails we have ready for residents and visitors to enjoy pedaling on, City staff is now eagerly looking into the possibility of bringing a bike share program to Santa Clarita.
What is a bike share program you ask? Many communities around the United States now have bike sharing services where visitors and residents can conveniently rent and return a bicycle at one of multiple kiosks around town. The bicycle rentals are intended to be used for a few hours and the process to use a bicycle requires three easy steps.
The first step is to check one out. For a nominal fee, you would be able to check out a bicycle at any one of the multiple self-serve kiosks. The second step is to ride the bicycle! You can do this around the City for transportation, recreation or tourism purposes. The final step is to return the bicycle to a docking station. The convenience of the bike share service is that you can return the bicycle to any kiosk located within the system’s service area. Kiosks are situated at key locations and provide a cost-effective mobility option for trips too far to walk, but too costly to make by taxi or private vehicle.
Now that you know what a bike share service is, we want to know— would you use it in Santa Clarita? I highly encourage you to let us know by filling out the City’s Bike Share Survey located online at BikeSantaClarita.com. This short five-question survey is open until Friday, March 31, 2017 and will help City staff determine if a bike share program is desired by the community. Those who complete the survey will be eligible to be randomly selected to win $25 gift cards for sporting goods.
The bike share program is just one of many projects the City of Santa Clarita is focusing on to improve the biking experience for our residents and visitors.
Another improvement to your biking experience will soon be appearing throughout Santa Clarita’s pedestrian, bikeway and trail network. New wayfinding signs will make it easier for residents and visitors to navigate routes to key city destinations, such as a Metrolink station or nearby library. The signs will include directional details and distance, allowing you to explore new places with confidence! Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of summer.
The City of Santa Clarita is always looking for ways to become a more bicycle-friendly community and improve conditions for bicycling. To stay up to date on our efforts and also find out about upcoming bike-related events and programs, please visit BikeSantaClarita.com. The website also provides printable trail maps, information on bike clubs and bike etiquette. While you’re on the site, don’t forget to sign up for the Bike Santa Clarita e-newsletter to have the latest news delivered directly to your inbox!
I hope after reading this article you’ll think about hitting our trails and exploring our beautiful City on a bike! It’s good, healthy and enjoyable! As John F. Kennedy once said, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.”
Mayor Pro Tem Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at: [email protected].