City on correct path in creating bike lanes
The city of Porterville is moving at the right pace in developing bicycle paths in the community.
While it would be nice to see more people using their bicycles to get to and from work and for other reasons in Porterville, that is not the case so the demand for more bicycle lanes is not there. Now, some may argue that if you build them — bike lanes — more will use them and that is probably true, but not to the extent of the cost. Developing bike lanes is very expensive and not so readily accepted by all. Some motorists do not want to share the road with bicyclists, although bicyclists have every right to the roadway as a motorist.
The Recorder’s look at bicycling found there is not a big demand for bike paths and lanes right now, but that more people would bike to get around if they were available. The two-part story also found the city is part of the Tulare County Regional Bicycle Transportation Plan, and that will enable the city to get funding to improve and develop bicycle paths. Already, the city has several projects in mind, totaling approximately 50 miles. However, the price tag is more than $135 million and most of the projects are years away.
That price tag makes it difficult for the city to move too quickly on the projects, and with the seemingly lack of demand for more bike paths the money can probably be better spent, mainly on improving the many streets in desperate need of repair.
However, we are pleased to see the city being proactive and looking at what can be done now to encourage more bicycling. Using a bicycle is not only good for the environment — it is a healthy exercise for those doing the peddling.
For the city to have to get really serious about bike lanes, it will take more citizens demanding that. Right now, demand is not there but we would encourage the city to continue to explore funding for new bike lanes so when the demand does grow, there will be safe places for people to enjoy bicycling.