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SJ plan: $43.9M in bike route upgrades
Consists primarily of widening rural road shoulders
The only separated bicycle route currently in the South County that is not in Manteca or Ripon is a short half mile stretch of a Caltrans bicycle bike path that goes from the end of Guthmiller Road of West Yosemite Avenue to Mossdale Crossing on the San Joaquin River - photo by HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin
Making San Joaquin County bicycle friendly for commuters and recreational cyclists carries a price tag of $43.9 million.

The figure consists primarily of the cost of widening a number of existing county roads to have a four-foot wide shoulder and signage to accommodate bicycles with bike route signage as Class III bicycle routes. The cost figure also includes dedicated bicycle lanes for Class II routes along some county roads and a few Class I bicycle routes that are separate from streets. Other elements of the proposed San Joaquin Bicycle Master Plan Update includes improved signage, upgrading traffic signals, as well as establishing a bicycle advisory committee.

The San Joaquin County Department of Public Works is conducting two identical public workshops for the Bicycle Master Plan Update. A workshop this Tuesday, June 29, takes place at Delta College, Danner Hall, Mustang Room, 5151 Pacific Avenue, Stockton.  The Tuesday, July 13, workshop is at the Manteca Public Library, 320 W. Center Street, Manteca. Both workshops will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to attend one of the workshops to learn about recommendations for improving bicycling access in the unincorporated areas of San Joaquin County.  The recommendations are a result of input from the February 2009 community meetings and county staff input, as well as safety and feasibility assessments. Each workshop will include a presentation from Alta Planning + Design, the consultant hired to work with the Department of Public Works on the Bicycle Master Plan update. Alta Planning + Design will explain the planning process and recommendations for future bicycle facilities.  

Among those recommendations in the rural area surrounding Manteca, Ripon, Lathrop and French Camp are:

•Widening the shoulder of Airport Way between Durham Ferry Road and West Ripon Road south of Manteca, In addition to a four-foot wide shoulder there would be signs noting that it is a bike route. Airport Way from Durham Ferry Road to the City of Stockton - some 12.68 miles- would ultimately be designated as a Class III bike lane after improvements are made.

•Upgrading the bike route along Austin Road from French Camp Road to Lathrop Road and then extending it south to Highway 120 by adding four-foot wide shoulders.

•French Camp Road from El Dorado Street to East Highway 120 would have shoulders widen to four feet and designated as a bicycle route for a distance of 10.17 miles.

•Widening shoulders to four feet with bike route signage on River Road from Murphy Road east to Santa Fe Road for 8.44 miles.

•Widening shoulders to four feet with bike route signs on Jack Tone Road from Ripon to the Jack Tone Road Bypass in Lockeford for 27.17 miles.

•Widening shoulders on Lathrop Road from Highway 99 to Austin Road for 1.75 miles and installing bicycle route signage.

•Widening shoulders on Manthey Road south and north of Lathrop and adding bicycle route signs.

•Widening shoulders on Santa Fe Road and adding bicycle route signs between Escalon and Stanislaus County line.

The plan also recommends working with Caltrans to designate East Highway 120 from Manteca to Escalon as a bike route with four-foot wide shoulders for a distance of 8.11 miles.

Other recommendations include:

•Having bicycle route signs that also provide signage on directions to cities as well as distances.

•Placing share the road signs attached to the universal bicycle sign on narrow county roads where appropriate as well as at approaches to all county bridges.

•Require all future traffic detection loops at signals to be triggered by bicycles plus readjust existing detection loops.

•Forming a bicycle advisory committee.

•Hiring a part-time or full-time bicycle program coordinator.

San Joaquin County currently has 18.9 miles of bike lanes and bike routes. The plan calls for having 4.13 miles of Class I routes, 5.63 miles of Class II routes, and 268.08 miles of Class III routes.

The routes as defined are:

•Class I: Separate bicycle paths away from traffic lanes.

•Class II: Separate bicycle lane along existing streets.

•Class II: Roads designed with four-foot wide shoulders with bicycle route signage.

Part of the $43.9 million will come from the half cent Measure K sales tax. The voter approved tax requires 1.3 percent of the money collected or an estimated $7.6 million over the next 20 years to go toward bicycle-related projects.

Those not able to attend either workshop about the Bicycle Master Plan Update may visit the San Joaquin County Bicycle Master Plan website at or contact Jeffrey Levers at the Department of Public Works: (209) 953-7631 or