By Mayor Marsha McLean
In the Santa Clarita Valley, miles upon miles of paved trails offer bicyclists of all ages the opportunity to put on a helmet, kick up the kickstand and feel the breeze against their face as they go for a relaxing bike ride to explore the natural beauty of our City.
The City of Santa Clarita has made it a priority to ensure residents have access to safe, healthy and fun activities. Through world-class events held in our City and the workshops and outreach by members of the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition, both cycling for sport and recreational bike riding have continued to grow in popularity.
The City has also invested in improvements to infrastructure aimed at enhancing safety for cyclists and providing amenities that encourage residents to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Safety is essential for everyone who uses our roads and trails, which is why the City is proud of the progress made in two key areas.
First, new bike lanes have been added to portions of Plum Canyon Road and Smyth Drive. These bike lanes will not only make riding safer for cyclists, they will do so without impacting traffic circulation in these areas.
Second, the Pace Bike Share program that was launched at the end of 2018 has become a popular way for casual riders to explore Santa Clarita. More than 3,500 trips have been recorded in the last nine months alone!
An exciting addition to Pace is a new subscription program allowing users to have an unlimited number of 30-minute rides. This means that commuters can easily make those first mile/last-mile connections by renting a bike to get from the Metrolink Station to work, and then back again.
These improvements allow the City to continue to expand its bike network and build upon its reputation as a Bicycle-Friendly Community. The City recently applied to renew this designation and has added a number of amenities for those riding bicycles on our streets and trails. In the last four years, the City has completed 14 miles of trails and also installed wayfinding signs throughout Santa Clarita to help bicyclists and pedestrians navigate our beautiful community.
“Give Me Green,” which is a smartphone application that detects bicycles at signalized intersections, is in its pilot phase and is currently being used by nearly 150 riders in Santa Clarita. This innovative application alerts drivers of bicyclists by illuminating electronic blank-out signs at intersections so they are warned that riders are approaching the intersection before making a turn.
Finally, I am happy to share with you that the City of Santa Clarita recently welcomed attendees of the California Bicycle Summit on Oct. 17. Summit participants traveled from Los Angeles to Santa Clarita by train, then participated in a bike tour that showed off our City’s trails, bridges, bicycle-friendly technology and more.
We are proud that Santa Clarita is a model for other cities when it comes to developing infrastructure and amenities for the bicycling community. To learn more about the City’s commitment to being bicycle-friendly, please visit BikeSantaClarita.com.