Sacramento to expand protected bike lanes in downtown, midtown

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Sacramento will soon be tripling the number of blocks with protected bike lanes.

On her daily commute, Sara Nelson opts for two wheels rather than four.

“Everyone should bike if they can. It’s better for everyone,” Nelson said.

But some roads are more easily traveled than others.

“Especially when you’re on the road you have to deal with the doors opening, the cars next to you. It’s just not enough room,” Nelson told FOX40.

Soon, she will have that extra space on more streets across Sacramento. The city has plans to expand its network of protected bike lanes.

“We started that work last year,” said Megan Johnson, a civil engineer with the City Public Works Department. “We installed 29 blocks of protected bike lanes. This project is going to dramatically expand that to 93 blocks.”

The lanes are positioned in between parked cars and the sidewalk rather than directly next to traffic.

“There is a large section of the population that is interested in biking but they are concerned biking next to moving cars,” Johnson explained. “So, the goal of this project is to make biking more comfortable and accessible.”

Protected lanes will extend along multiple blocks of 9th, 10th, 19th, 21st, P and Q streets.

“We don’t have hard collision data yet on whether they have reduced collisions or not. But we have found feedback from bicyclists saying they feel more comfortable,” Johnson said.

The project also calls to convert 5th and I streets from one-way to two-way streets.

It was welcomed news for Nelson, who said she was glad to see the city and bicyclists working “in tandem” to make her commute a little easier.

“It makes you just feel safer,” she told FOX40.

The project is expected to cost $15.5 million and will be funded through several sources, including Senate Bill 1, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, and the Valley Rail project.

They’re hoping to start construction by 2021.

The city will be having an informational meeting about the plan Wednesday night at City Hall starting at 5:30 and ending at 7.

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