Central Valley Bikeways Project – Merced

CalBike’s Central Valley Bikeways Project will analyze the area surrounding the future high speed rail (HSR) station in Merced. We will come up with a plan to improve connections to the station for people who bike and walk in Merced. The plan will also propose changes to make it easier to bike and walk throughout the Central Valley.

Merced Transportation Plans

The most recent transportation plans for Merced are the 2018 Regional Transportation Plan/ Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) for Merced County, prepared by the Merced County Association of Government (MCAG), and the 2019 City of Merced Active Transportation (ATP) and Safe-Routes-to-School Plan, prepared by the City of Merced and Alta Planning + Design. These plans draw on the 2012 Merced Vision 2030 General Plan and supersede the 2013 City of Merced Bicycle Transportation Plan.

Plan Objectives

The RTP focuses on providing multi-modal coverage to the county over the next 25 years given the projected population growth and longer commute times for residents as a result of relatively cheaper housing costs than surrounding areas. 

The ATP aims to create a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian network that connects the City of Merced and surrounding unincorporated areas. Given the City’s current expenditure on active transportation projects, Alta estimates that total completion of the plan could take 40 years, but they provide priority projects as well as potential sources of funding to speed up this timeline. The City and consultants used several data points to create their recommendations, including public outreach, pedestrian and bicycle counts, collision data, and CalEnviroScreen scores. The priority projects include 16 miles of additional shared use paths and 74 miles of additional bike lanes. The plan also proposes several policy recommendations including pedestrian enhancements such as new sidewalks, lighting, curb extensions, and ramps.

Public Outreach

Outreach efforts to formulate the ATP included the formation of a citizen focus group (CFG) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Focus as well as two public workshops and street fair outreach. Workshops were held in Spanish and designed to reach people traditionally not included in policy and planning outreach. 

Main Takeaways

The ATP includes extensive additions to the existing bicycle and pedestrian networks, and a large portion of the funds are allocated to low-stress, class I shared use paths. It also increases coverage in areas that are most negatively impacted by the effects of climate change. The main challenge of the plan is securing funding, but several funding sources are recommended.

Project Managers

If you have questions about the Central Valley Bikeways Project in Bakersfield, please contact one of CalBike’s project managers.

Forest Barnes, forest@calbike.org, 415.484.3143

Jared Sanchez, jared@calbike.org, 714.262.0921

Merced Resources

City of Merced Active Transportation and Safe-Routes-to-School Plan

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