VICTORVILLE — Determined to add 46.1 miles of bikeways over the next five years, the City Council this week authorized spending $34,300 with an Ontario consultant to develop preliminary plans and cost estimates for several streets where bike lanes are planned.

Victorville officials have acknowledged that the city lags behind neighboring municipalities in bicycle and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure. The approved agreement signals another step forward in a wider plan to install 46 miles of centerline bikeways within the city, and the ambitious plan will be part of a larger network of routes connecting with Hesperia and Apple Valley.

The Council approved the agreement Tuesday with David Evans and Associates. The firm will give estimates for bike lanes pegged for El Evado Road, Mojave Drive, Arrowhead Drive and 7th Avenue, Balsam Road, Village Drive, Air Expressway and the Phantom Loop.

‘The costs estimates will be used for preparing project budgets in the Capital Improvement Plan and for applying for future grants,’ a city staff report said. ‘The consultant has experience in designing bike routes for other agencies and is currently under contract with the city on the Safe Routes to Schools project.’

Of the proposed 46 miles of bikeways, the large majority (42 miles) will be striped lanes adjacent to a motor vehicle lane, according to the staff report. Separate bike paths will make up 3.4 miles of installation, while 0.7 miles will be a shared route with motor vehicles.

Officials are projecting about 7.3 miles of bikeways will be completed this fiscal year, with 3.7 miles on La Mesa Road from Interstate 15 to Highway 395; 2.6 miles on Nisqualli Road from Hesperia Road to I-15; and 1 mile on Hesperia Road from Bear Valley Road to Nisqualli Road.

Meanwhile, officials expect to know by early October whether their Active Transportation Program grant application was successful, submitted to help pay for some of the $4.7 million Mojave Riverwalk project. In May, the Council OK’d a lease agreement with Victor Valley College for the first phase of the project, which includes a four-mile paved bicycle and pedestrian path from Bear Valley Road to Yucca Loma Road.

The path will be constructed on top of the existing County Flood Control District levee, officials said. It will also continue on the widened Yates Road with a path entering Mojave Narrows Regional Park and also boast a turnaround loop. The path will eventually connect to the under-construction Yucca Loma Bridge.

The cost for the agreement with David Evans was included in the city’s Capital Improvement Program in the fiscal year 2016 budget. Additionally, the Council on Tuesday approved adoption of its Measure I five-year Capital Improvement Plan.

Measure I is the half-cent sales tax used for transportation improvements and was approved by San Bernardino County voters in 2004.

Source: Shea Johnson, Daily Press