Regional Parks to Study Sonoma Valley Bike Trail
September 24, 2013
Sonoma County Regional Parks has been awarded a $190,575 grant from the California Department of Transportation to study the feasibility of connecting Santa Rosa and Sonoma with a bike trail through the Sonoma Valley.
Regional Parks learned this week it will get a “Community-Based Transportation Planning Grant” for the proposed Sonoma Valley Trail, a project that would give bicyclists and pedestrians a safe way to travel the busy Highway 12 corridor and would be a major component of the county's inter-city trail network. The study area stretches 13 miles from Agua Caliente Road north of Sonoma to Melita Road in east Santa Rosa.
With the exception of a few areas, there are no sidewalks or bike lanes along Highway 12, so the trail would provide residents a much-needed alternative to walking and riding on the heavily travelled road. It also would attract tourists visiting Sonoma Valley wineries and parks.
Susan Gorin, 1st District Supervisor, praised the award. “Seeing this project move forward has been a dream of mine. This allows us to plan a trail to connect Sonoma Valley with Santa Rosa and western Sonoma County, truly connecting everyone – families, tourists, cyclists – and opening up the beauty of the Sonoma Valley for all to enjoy.”
A trail spanning the Sonoma Valley is listed as a high priority in the 2010 Sonoma County Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and as a proposed route in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Regional Bikeway System. Trail supporters include the cities of Santa Rosa and Sonoma, the Sonoma County Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, and the Santa Rosa Cycling Club.
Caltrans’ Community Based Transportation Planning grants are highly competitive and awarded to projects that encourage public involvement and partnership. Regional Parks expects to begin the feasibility study in spring or summer of 2014. Multiple community meetings, surveys and workshops will be conducted. A draft study will be prepared for additional public input before a final report is presented to the Board of Supervisors for consideration.
Regional Parks is currently at work on another trail between Agua Caliente and Verano Road that will connect with this proposed Sonoma Valley Trail as well as the existing Sonoma Bike Path in the city of Sonoma.
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