The Town of Apple Valley has further mutilated Outer Highway 18, this time at Kiowa. This mutilation seems to be in support of the Town’s support for the failed high-density housing project on the corner.

As a result, it is no longer possible for either eastbound or westbound traffic on North Outer Highway 18 to continue straight across Kiowa Road.

In the past, the Town of Apple Valley has mutilated Outer Highway 18 in front of St. Mary, Walmart/Albertson’s, in front of Target (across the street from Albertson’s), and in front of the Historic Apple Valley Inn.

If the Town had some kind of master transportation plan aimed at improving travel through this critical corridor in north Apple Valley, it would be one thing. However, the effect of these mutilations is that cyclists (as well as everyone else wanting to use the Outer Highway) is turfed off onto Highway 18. For motorists, this isn’t a huge deal. For cyclists, though, this is potentially a very bad turn of events. While there is usually a wide emergency lane on either side of Highway 18, Highway 18 itself is controlled by the notoriously anti-bicycle CalTrans. If you think getting Apple Valley to respond to cyclists’ needs is tough, you ain’t seen nothing until you’ve tried to deal with CalTrans.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The past implementations of the Outer Highways have their flaws, but at least the Town had the rights of way in case some future leaders finally saw the light about the importance of bicycle access to our town. Outer Highway 18 could serve as the backbone of an extensive bicycle-access system in our community.

As the Town leaders chip away at the Outer Highways, though, more and more sections of Apple Valley become Balkanized, and a bicycle-friendly future for Apple Valley becomes increasingly dim.