Plans afoot to extend bike path to Lake Wildwood |

Plans afoot to extend bike path to Lake Wildwood

Penn Valley residents and Supervisor Hank Weston are looking at ways to extend a bicycle path in the rural town and make it safer for residents of Lake Wildwood and Rough and Ready to cross Highway 20.

“We’re trying to get grants and easements to continue the bike trail,” Weston said.

In October, county supervisors adopted a bicycle master plan, making the county eligible for grant funding through the Caltrans bicycle transportation account, Weston said.

Each year $8 million to $10 million is available to communities through the state program that requires a 10 percent matching of funds.

In order to qualify for the program, county supervisors must identify the project as a priority and develop a design and budget for the project, Weston said.

Applications are typically due in the fall.

“I have a map being prepared with three or four different routes. Hopefully the community association will help me determine which route to take,” Weston said.

Bicyclists can now ride about one mile on a path that stretches from downtown Penn Valley to Western Gateway Park.

Members of the Penn Valley Community Association envision the path extending to the west and east.

Caltrans will not put a crosswalk across Highway 20, but Weston believes a small bridge above Squirrel Creek could serve as a safe underpass for bicyclists in the dry season.

“What we would like to do is continue (the path) so people from Lake Wildwood can get across. That’s the toughest thing,” Weston said.

Other funding options include applying for a grant on behalf of Western Gateway Park District, looking into federal Safe to School grants or seeking alternative funding through the High Sierra Resource Conservation and Development Council.

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