Events, News & Blog

You Can Now Pedal Through California’s Scenic Redwood Forest on a Railbike

Author Emma Taggart

In an effort to give a new lease on life to some of America’s historic railway lines, Skunk Train is repurposing unused train tracks as adventurous tour routes. One of its most popular experiences is an excursion through the world-famous Redwood Route in northern California. But rather than ride the rails via train, you and a friend can pedal an electric-powered railbike meant for two.

The railbike guided tour takes around two hours and begins at Fort Brag, just off the coast. From there, you’ll meander along the scenic Pudding Creek, cross wooden trestle bridges, and take in the majestic beauty of the ancient redwoods of Mendocino County. Upon reaching Glen Blair Junction, you’ll have a 50-minute break to enjoy a picnic or explore the woods on foot.

There’s no need to steer the railbikes. Without the need for driving, you and your partner can simply sit back and pedal at a leisurely pace while taking in the surrounding scenery. “You’re unbound, able to look around at the wonder of this untouched stretch of the natural world,” Skunk Train says, “spotting blue herons, osprey, an occasional lounging turtle, perhaps a playful river otter, a deer munching on the foliage, and during peak berry season maybe even a bear.”

Read More

Expanding the Bicycle Network and Making New Connections

Author: Benjamin Barnett

With the challenges we all have faced over the past six months, we wanted to take a minute to shine some light on the accomplishments we made this summer in improving our ever-expanding bicycle network. Our crews worked all over the city making improvements, adding infrastructure and creating a more robust network.

Biking is more important than ever, both as a means of transportation with Muni service limited and as a way to get some exercise while sheltering-in-place. Where people feel safe and comfortable bicycling, more people ride bicycles. When these bike rides replace car trips, it creates more room on our crowded roadways, reducing traffic congestion. As such, expanding the bicycle network where people can travel comfortably has been a key priority of the SFMTA’s Transportation Recovery Plan.

Read More

 

 

Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge Crossings on the Rise During Pandemic

Author Noah Berger

Newly released data indicate the popularity of the pedestrian and bicycle paths on five of the Bay Area’s state-owned toll bridges since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cyclist and pedestrian counter data(link is external) are now publicly available on the MTC website for the paths across the Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton and Richmond-San Rafael bridges, as well as the East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The Bay Area Toll Authority is maintaining a system of automatic counters to detect and record bicycle and pedestrian volumes around the clock at select locations on these bridges.

The COVID-19 pandemic has many Bay Area residents seeking new ways to get around and enjoy socially distant activities that can be done close to home. Bike shops are reporting record business, and those who already own bicycles and scooters are joining walkers and runners on the region’s many bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly paths, including the Bay Trail.

How many people are using active transportation modes on the shared-use paths on Bay Area’s five state-owned bridges? (Because the Golden Gate Bridge is not a state-owned bridge, its pathway data are not included on the MTC website.) The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge had a high of nearly 12,000 bicycle crossings in May 2020, double the nearly 6,000 crossings in January 2020. The Bay Bridge registered  a 77% increase in bike trips (18,600 total) in May 2020 over the previous high of 10,500 trips in July 2017.

Walkers and runners are getting in on the action, too. The Benicia-Martinez Bridge had a high of 36,000 pedestrian crossings in May 2020, 80% higher than the previous high of 20,000 crossings in April 2018. There was a 38% increase in crossings (7,600) on the Carquinez Bridge in May 2020, with the pre-pandemic high of 5,500 crossings set in May 2016.

Read More

U.S. Bicycle Route System

Why doesn’t Sonoma County participate in the The U.S. Bicycle Route System?  Time to ask our Supervisors.

The U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) is a developing national network of bicycle routes connecting urban and rural communities via signed roads and trails. Created with public input, U.S. Bicycle Routes direct bicyclists to a preferred route through a city, county, or state – creating opportunities for people everywhere to bicycle for travel, transportation, and recreation.

Over 14,000 miles are currently established in 27 states and Washington DC – and many routes are signed.

Since 2005, Adventure Cycling has been proud to shepherd the growth of the USBRS. We provide free technical assistance, coordination, and resources to assist stakeholder groups in their designation efforts.

Together, we’re building the largest public bike route network in the world!

SMART was voted Best Transportation Agency

SMART was voted Best Transportation Agency by readers of the Bohemian and the Pacific Sun in Marin and Sonoma counties. The following ad will run in the next edition of each publication, thanking our communities for their support. The ad also features the 2x daily cleaning protocols performed by our operations staff that keep our trains clean…….RCoates