Currently there are no safe bicycle routes between the Peninsula and Salinas. Lack of safety is cited as the number one reason why more workers, students, and residents in general do not make this commute by bicycle. Hazardous conditions on Blanco Road affect drivers of motor vehicles including motorcyclists too.
Blanco Road is described by the Transportation Agency of Monterey County as the best and safest Peninsula-Salinas bike route. The County Department of Public Works started the project by obtaining full grant funding and creating the engineering design. However, after $28,000 was spent, the Farm Bureau objected, citing that bike lanes would actually create a safety hazard for cyclists. In fact, the hazards they cite (pesticide drift affecting people and muddy roads) are illegal and caused by improper farming operations.
Failing to build these bike lanes will require Monterey County taxpayers to repay to the State the $28,000 already spent on the project, plus we will lose the balance of funds, $172,000. Building bike lanes on Blanco will cost Monterey County taxpayers nothing additional (funding comes from the State and Federal governments) and is a giant step toward making Blanco Road safer for everyone. What affects cyclists affects all commuters that pay for the maintenance of Blanco Road, and they are far more in number than the farmers that use this public road. It is the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors to keep Monterey County safe, do what is best for the public good, and to build these bike lanes!
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