Tuolumne County Community Survey

If you haven’t already done so, completing the Tuolumne County Community Survey will give you a chance to provide your priorities for the Board of Supervisors. Better facilities for walking and biking are not on the checklists, but there are opportunities to write them in under “other”. The survey closes February 13, 2020.

https://www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov/1254/Community-Survey

The Chasm Between the Sonoras

Mono Way and the East Sonora Bypass are the connecting routes between Sonora and East Sonora. Both were constructed as Caltrans highways without much thought of community or the needs of pedestrians and bikes. But does it have to stay that way? The roads have high bridges spanning the defining natural feature of the area, Sullivan Creek. We don’t see the creek, but we can’t unsee this artifact of the construction of the bypass:

Bergel Road barriers at Mono Way

Bergel Road extends from Phoenix Lake Road to Mono Way behind the back entrance to Sonora Sports & Fitness. You see it on the right traveling on Mono Way from Tuolumne Road to the Peppery. The barricades make the end of the road an attractive dumping spot, and the barricades, weeds, and fencing are an eyesore. How long has it been this way, and why do we put up with this?

If you park on Bergel Road and go for a walk, you’ll see that despite the neglect, the creek is extremely nice.

Sullivan Creek adjacent to Bergel Road

This place is public land that could thrive as a mini park with bike and pedestrian access to Mono Way. With a connection under the Mono Way bridge to a Sierra Railway rails-with-trails path, Bergel Road could provide park and bike/walk access from the Phoenix Lake basin to shopping, jobs, and services in Sonora and East Sonora and to the new Law and Justice Center.

Sierra Railway Rails-with Trails report, 2004

This is just a vision with a great many obstacles prior to implementation. But without vocal constituencies, visions remain dreams. This is one example of how advocacy for active transportation could help transform our communities much more than by just making it easier to bike or walk. There is grant funding readily available from Caltrans to plan solutions to these kinds of problems, but our local leaders need to hear that the public wants these kinds of changes.

Join the MLBC in bringing your problem locations and ideas for bike and pedestrian improvements to the Tuolumne County Active Transportation Plan Community Meeting tomorrow night (Thursday January 9) at 5:30 pm at the Sonora Branch Library. Without public input, we’ll get the same old plan that has accomplished very little for a great many years.Sonora ATP Meeting Flyer

Improving Conditions for Walking and Biking in Tuolumne County

The Tuolumne County Transportation Council is hosting a public meeting on January 9, 2020 at the Sonora Branch Library to gather community input on the Tuolumne County Active Transportation Plan (flyer and email text below).

Why do you need to participate? The way construction projects are selected and funded and the kind of planning needed to compete for the funds have changed since the last adopted Bike and Trails Plan in 2005. The state Active Transportation Program allocates the lions share of state and federal funding for bike and pedestrian improvements, and it is now a competitive program. In the first four competitive funding cycles, of over 800 projects funded statewide only one project has been awarded in Tuolumne County, the Red Church pedestrian improvements in Sonora. The kind of thinking in our existing bike plan–a comprehensive network of ambitious projects that never get funded–needs to be replaced with more strategic thinking about projects that have the greatest potential for replacing vehicle trips with active transportation trips and that will most improve safety for bikes and pedestrians. Safer routes to schools and transit are also important elements of the plan. The TCTC needs to hear from you to understand where unsafe conditions exist and where  you won’t travel on a bike or on foot because appropriate facilities don’t exist.

Sonora ATP Meeting Flyer

Email invitation from TCTC with additional information.

Hello Stakeholder, On behalf of the Tuolumne County Transportation Council, I would like to invite you to a community meeting regarding the development of the Tuolumne County Active Transportation Plan (a plan to help improve walking, bicycling and access to public transit!). The meeting will be held at the following location:

Tuolumne County Main Branch Library, 5:30pm-7:00 pm
480 Greenley Rd, Sonora, CA

The purpose of this meeting is to introduce area residents to the Active Transportation Plan, identify faulty infrastructure, gather community input and outline future projects that will make active transportation safer in Tuolumne County. The input collected will help shape the Tuolumne County Active Transportation Plan.
The meeting will include a presentation on the benefits of active transportation planning, existing conditions and barriers to mobility and solutions for improving active transportation throughout the County. After the presentation, maps and surveys will be made available for community members to comment on and identify specific areas throughout Sonora and Tuolumne County they believe should be given priority.
For further information visit: https://www.activetuolumnecounty.com/
Attached, is the community meeting flyer.
If you have any questions regarding this project, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.
Please feel free to help spread the word about this project.

We have a survey on the website that will be very helpful to the project as well.
This is a good way for folks to participate who prefer not to attend community meetings.

Thanks for your support.

Happy Holidays,

Tyler J Summersett

Sr. Transportation Planner/
Trails Coordinator
Transportation Council/Transit Agency

Dragoon Gulch Trail Work Day on Black Friday

Come out and help build this great community trail in Sonora! BYO tools, lunch, and water.

Dragoon Gulch Trail Work Day November 29, 2019

 

Promoting Bicycle Safety

The Motherlode Bicycle Coalition led their first bicycle rodeo this summer with the help of the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Sonora Cyclery, and Sonora Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership. We set up a fun and educational bike safety course following the League of American Bicyclists‚ Bicycling Skills 1 2 3 Manual, gave out free helmets, provided bike maintenance, and gathered community responses for the Tuolumne County Active Transportation Plan (ATP). As a small bike advocacy organization, the involvement of the local business community and law enforcement was extremely helpful, and together we held a successful bike rodeo that we will replicate in the future.

Prior to leading the bike rodeo, UC Berkeley Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) asked if we could provide a summary of the event to include on their Safety Stories page. Safety Stories is a feature where California Active Transportation Safety Information Pages (CATSIP) users can find and share snapshots of strategies, programs, and tools used by professionals, advocates and community residents to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. We were honored to make a contribution and share our experience of our summer bike rodeo. Read the full story at Safety Stories from You!

Please contact us if you would like to host a bike rodeo or bike maintenance workshop in Tuolumne or Calaveras County. We plan on leading more bike safety education rodeos and workshops for children and adults next year.