SACRAMENTO — California’s jump into the nation’s top 10 bicycle-friendly states and creation of the nation’s largest active transportation program are two achievements highlighted in Caltrans’ annual Non-Motorized Transportation Facilities Report. But while officials lauded the advances, some locals still wonder if the Golden State is doing enough for cyclists.

The state’s jump from 19th to ninth in the nation in The League of American Bicyclists’ latest annual report is due to progress in legislation, funding, and policy that will make it easier to build bike lanes and mandate drivers to give cyclists 3 feet of space when they pass. One law, The Protected Bikeways Act of 2014, provides for a new class of bikeway — a cycle track or separated bikeway — that has some type of physical separation between the bicycle path and vehicular traffic.

Still, No. 1 Washington and seven other states, including cold-weather locales like Wisconsin and Minnesota, ranked higher in bike friendliness. The report’s categories are bike policies/programs, legislation/enforcement, education/encouragement, infrastructure/funding and evaluation/planning. The state’s lowest score on the report card was a 3 out of a possible 5 in the infrastructure/funding category.

“I have no idea how The League of American Bicyclists are collecting their data that has us at No. 9 but I would dispute that,” Greg Keyes commented on the local cycling-focused Facebook group Victor Valley Vello. “We need to enforce the laws that are already in place that are supposed to protect cyclists. We need more bicycle lanes on busy streets. We need to make drivers more aware that we as cyclists have rights on the road and if they infringe on those rights that there will be consequences that could cost them their license.”

Kevin Bilbee was more positive, stating that “California has come a long way since I started cycling on the road,” but he added that law enforcement officers and cyclists alike “need better training in cycling law.”

“I saw some idiot in the dark with no lights riding the wrong direction on Apple Valley Road last night,” Bilbee wrote.


“Caltrans’ has historically been known as a highways agency, but we are shifting our focus to creating a California transportation system that links communities and is safe for all travelers, including those who choose to travel by biking and walking,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said. “We couldn’t accomplish this without our partners at all levels, from the federal government to grassroots organizations and the public.”

High Desert municipalities are following suit.

“Victorville created a non-motorized transportation plan to provide a network for pedestrians and bicyclists that will link neighborhoods to retail establishments, employment centers, public facilities, etc.,” said Senior Planner Mike Szarzynski, with the city’s Planning Division. “This plan will guide for the development of trails and bikeways to serve the recreation and non-motorized travel needs of existing and future residents. The city of Victorville continues to actively explore for means to implement this plan.”


“Options to get around on bike, foot, or horse are important to our Healthy Apple Valley efforts,” town spokeswoman Kathie Martin said. “Anytime roads are improved that are designated for bike lanes in the General Plan, those lanes are installed. This has allowed us to create a network of 40 miles so far.

“And in 2015 we have grant funding to do upgrade signage and striping on bike lanes townwide. Plus design standards in residential areas zoned for equestrian use ensures that multipurpose trails are built along main roads in the neighborhood, suitable for horses or pedestrians.”

In Barstow, a recent update to the General Plan addressed bicycling.