Merced's city bike system plan ready for review

July 8, 2013 

MS merced bike_lanes

MARCI STENBERG/mstenberg@mercedsunstar.com A young woman riding her bicycle south on G street, Tuesday (10-30-2012) morning.

MARCI STENBERG — Merced Sun-Star Buy Photo

— The city of Merced 2013 Bicycle Transportation Plan's draft is complete.

The draft is the start of the Merced County Association of Governments and the city of Merced's update to the 2008 plan that is required to be updated every five years.

According to the draft, the city of Merced has committed more than $4 million to developing a bikeway system over the past 25 years. The 2013 BTP draft offers up more than 100 projects to continue that development.

The draft cites the continued expansion and growth of UC Merced as well as a number of local health initiatives as reasons for expected increases in bicycling around the city of Merced in the coming years.

While Merced is ahead of many cities in bicycling infrastructure, the draft calls for improvements in five areas around town.

The plan focuses on the western industrial area near Highway 59; Merced College and UC Merced; south Merced by the airport; southeast Merced by Golden Valley High School; and the local government centers downtown.

Funding for the project will come from a number of sources, including local (bicycle registration and licensing fees, city of Merced public facilities impact fees), regional (the motor vehicle emission reduction program and Transportation Development Act), state and federal.

The plan went before the Parks and Recreation Commission on July 1 and the Bicycle Advisory Committee on Tuesday. The Planning Commission will give its recommendation in August and the draft is tentatively set to be adopted by the Merced City Council in September before being certified by MCAG in October.

The draft can be read at www.cityofmerced.org/ depts/cityclerk/boards_n_ commissions/bicycle_ advisory_commission/ merced_bike_plan.asp.

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