Cross-Country Route Severed in California Take Action to Fix It!

Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles is one of this country’s most historic routes and a fantastic bike ride, until you get to California. There, just outside of Needles, you could be forced to stop. Historic Route 66 is falling apart and subject to flooding. It’s currently closed. The only alternative — Interstate 40 — prohibits bikes. California, it seems, says “turn around and go home to thousands of bike tourists on their way to Los Angeles.” The California Bicycle Coalition is partnering with the Adventure Cycling Association to take action to open Bike Route 66.

How you can help.

Please ask the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to allow bicycle access on I-40 between Needles and Barstow. Bicycle tourists should be welcomed in California, not turned away at the border. Bicycle tourists spend from $76 to $114 each day, studies indicate, and stay in a region longer. They can help the economy of small rural communities such as those in San Bernardino County through which Route 66 passes.

Take Action: Email Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty by February 1, asking him to allow bicycle access on I-40 between Needles and Barstow. Bicycle tourists should be welcomed in California, not turned away at the border. Bicycle tourists spend from $76 to $114 each day, studies indicate, and stay in a region longer. They can help the economy of small rural communities such as those in San Bernardino County through which Route 66 passes.

Click this link to send an email by February 1 using the text below, or edit the text to replace it with your own words.

Support Bike Route 66

Mail to: malcolm.dougherty@dot.ca.gov

Subject: Allow Bicycle Access on I-40

Body: Dear Director Dougherty,

Your support of bicycling as the leader of the new California Department of Transportation has been impressive. We strongly support the direction that you are taking the agency, because bicycling has the potential to serve a very important role in California’s transportation system that has been neglected until recently.

In light of this leadership, we are asking that you exercise your authority to remove a prohibition on bicycling on a section of I-40 between Needles and Barstow.

This section of interstate is a necessary segment of the historic Bike Route 66 because the National Trails Highway is in extremely poor condition and is often closed, as it is now and for the foreseeable future.

Cyclists will come from across the world to ride Bicycle Route 66, bringing their appetites and pocketbooks with them. Studies indicate that bicycle travelers spend between $76 and $114 per day and stay in a region longer than motorized tourists. This can have a significant impact on the rural communities of San Bernardino County over time.

Thank you for your kind attention to this email.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

 

cc: Basem Muallem, Director of District 8 – basem.muallem@dot.ca.gov
Catalino Pining III, Deputy District Director – catalino.pining@dot.ca.gov
Ryan Price, Campaigns Director, info@calbike.org

 

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Special thanks to the Adventure Cycling Association for leading the fight for bike access on this section of California freeway. For more information on this campaign, read their blog post highlighting issues along Bicycle Route 66 in California and see first-hand the road conditions on the National Trails Highway.