Those in Yolo County are familiar with the bike-friendly town of Davis, known for its bike loop, greenbelt paths, and copious bike lanes. Davis has always been synonymous with the bicycle. In recent years, however, Davis’ neighbor to the north, Woodland, the county seat of Yolo, has been taking the opportunity to provide bike-friendly improvements throughout town that will make riding to school and work, and for pleasure, a whole lot easier and safer. And with gas prices at a record high, riding a bike is not just an enjoyable adventure, but an economically smart one too. So, Woodlanders, grab your helmet and hop on two wheels! Changes are coming.
The biggest and most welcome change is the new Bike-Pedestrian Overcrossing on SR-113. This new pedestrian and bike bridge connects the Spring Lake community on the east side of 113 to the Sports Park-Community Center area on the west side of 113. This project will enable residents to access the existing north/south bike lane corridors throughout Woodland. Woodland’s Lead Traffic Engineer, Katie Wurzel, described some of the bike-friendly changes taking place as part of the overcrossing project, including a new multi-use path to Pioneer High School, timed traffic lights, and 8-foot-wide bike lanes.
Another bike-friendly addition to Woodland is the new Bicycle Playground, installed at Ferns Park, modeled after the popular European concept of a Traffic Garden. Traffic Gardens provide a safe way for kids and adults to practice bike skills in a place that mimics real-life street conditions out of harm’s way. These facilities have been used in northern Europe for many years and the United States is starting to embrace the concept. The Bike Campaign worked with Woodland Parks and Recreation to create the space, which includes many different traffic scenarios: stop lines, crosswalks, lane merging, a roundabout, a one-way loop, and so on.
Need a place to park your bike while attending class or working/teaching at Pioneer High School? What about while enjoying the pool at the Swim Center on West Street? You’re in luck! Through a grant obtained from Yolo Solano Air Quality Management District, the Bike Campaign was able to install secure bike racks at Pioneer High and the Swim Center, enabling bike riders to safely lock up their bikes in both locations. Secure bike racks will be installed in additional locations in the future as The Bike Campaign works with the Woodland Joint Unified School District to identify areas with the greatest needs for bicycle parking.
There are also bike-friendly road improvements slated for Kentucky, Gibson, and East Streets, as well as many roads located within the Spring Lake community, making it easier and safer to take to the roads on two wheels.
These bike-friendly changes in Woodland will reduce car trips while increasing bike safety and joy. The result? Less vehicle congestion on the roads, cost savings of not paying for as much expensive gas, decreased air pollution in the environment, a built-in form of fresh air and exercise, and a chance to engage in social interaction. Now those are some changes we can all get behind!
This article was written by Lisa Montanaro, commissioned by The Bike Campaign. For more information about how to “Drive Less. Ride More.”, contact Maria Contreras Tebbutt at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.TheBikeCampaign.com.
Lisa Montanaro is the author of the book The Ultimate Life Organizer and is a freelance writer for print and online publications. She is currently revising her debut novel. When not writing, Lisa helps organizations and people be more productive. And when not working or writing, Lisa can be found on two wheels cycling!