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

Test-ride And Buy Electric Bikes At The E-bike Challenge | Cycle Volta

A lot of people were really interested not only in test-riding ebikes, but ‘Where can I go with them? What can I do with them?
— Read on www.cyclevolta.com/story/ebike-basics/test-ride-and-buy-electric-bikes-at-e-bike-challenge/

Cycling Tourism in the Motherlode means identifying rural cycling roads that link communities to encourage recreational cycling, commuting, and e bike cycling tour companies to explore the California Foothills.

End of Year Newsletter

END OF YEAR NEWSLETTER

December 30, 2019

Dear Members and Friends of the Motherlode Bicycle Coalition!

2019 is coming to a close with MLBC and we wish to carry our momentum into the new year. We designed a new website, expanded our social media efforts on Facebook and Instagram, and started meeting monthly as the Motherlode Bicycle Coalition! I suspect I could end this end of year report with our collective effort to get “organized” but, we also accomplished important local and state cycling advocacy efforts, sponsored bike events, rides, and are collaborating with local partners to support Cycling Tourism in Amador, Calaveras, Alpine, Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties.

Highlights from 2019

Supported bikes-for-tykes-work-days repairing bikes for local youth.

MLBC Members volunteered at the Dragoon Gulch Work Days to expand the trail network for biking and hiking

Sponsored the Moccasin Marsh Flat Pop Up Ride

Recruited 20 members during our membership drive!

Hosted a Tuesday Rides series featuring Gold Rush Towns of the Motherlode

Organized a Tuolumne County Bike Rodeo with Sonora Cyclery and the local CHP

Assisted with the Tom Frost Memorial Old Priest Grade Ride and RideandWalk4Art

Most importantly, we have a committed board and appointed an Executive Director. The board meetings are scheduled the fourth Thursday each month and meetings are held at various foothill locations to encourage broad representation. The meetings are held from 4:30pm 6:00pm.

The upcoming 2020 calendar for the MLBC will be presented at the January 2020 MLBC General Membership Meeting.

2020 Events

Monthly Pop Up Bike Rides featuring roads linking our foothill towns

Organizing Youth Bikes Rodeos in Motherlode

Monthly Tuesday Ride Series featuring rides to historic Gold Rush Towns

Hosting Cycling Tourism Workshops for Local Civic Clubs and Tourism Agencies

Taking an active role in supporting the California Bicycle Coalition 2020 Advocacy Agenda https://www.calbike.org/

Come ride with us! Become a MLBC Member in 2020

https://motherlodebike.org/support-mlbc/membership/

With your energy, experience and membership, we can work together to:

● Build bicycle-friendly communities

● Break down barriers to cycling

● Improve bicycle facilities

● Improve air quality and public health

● Educate cyclists and motorists on Sharing the Road

● Promote bike rides and routes in the Motherlode

● Organize more bicycle events to promote cycling, increase public awareness, and have fun.

Safe riding in the California Foothills in 2020,

Rob Williams

Chairperson of the MLBC

Two New Dragoon Gulch Trail Work Days Scheduled

A volunteer crew of six made the Black Friday Work Day a great success! We cleared a short stub to a look out spot at the top of the Summit Trail and cleared stumps and tuned up an upper section of the Volunteers for Outdoor California Trail. Wetter conditions made for easier work! Support the City of Sonora and outdoor recreation by turning out for these Work Day opportunities.

Bikes for Tykes Work Day

Ervin Kroeker has been organizing the Bikes for Tykes component of the Sonora Children’s Holiday Party for over 20 years. Jack Becker and Carl Baker of the MLBC joined Erv and Michael David, Jose Ortiz, Doug Ankrom, and Mike Suess for the December 7 work day to get donated bikes ready for the December 14 party at the Motherlode Fairgrounds in Sonora.

If you missed this chance to donate your no longer needed bike to Bike for Tykes, you can contact the MLBC at any time to donate. We’ll help find your bike a new home with someone that needs it.

Volunteer workers for Bikes for Tykes work day

Erv and Jose

Jack and Michael

Doug and Mike

Michael and finished bikes