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Committees in Orange County are working on additional bicycle-friendly options

Orange County is working on creating more bike-friendly alternatives like a regional “bikeway,” but progress has been slow since the Complete Streets Act passed in 2011.

In Orange County, biking has become more common among residents, but there is not enough legislation to protect these cyclists. California passed the Complete Streets Act, which is meant to make local roadways safer for bikers and pedestrians, yet progress has been slow among many parts of the state including the OC.

“Three years after the Complete Streets Act was passed, and still we have projects that don’t meet the mandates,” Brenda Miller, cycling activist from San Clemente, told the Voice of Orange County. “And bicyclists’ and pedestrians’ lives are put at risk as a result.”

When the Complete Streets Act was passed in 2011, communities across California were supposed to start initiatives to accommodate everyone that uses these roads regardless of form of transportation and age. Towns and cities would then have to update its transportation plans, highlighting these changes.

However, some projects like Shawn Nelson’s “bikeway” in parts of northern OC have been stalled, despite support for the program. Even though Nelson is waiting for construction to begin, other states have modeled Nelson’s approach to establish a bikeway in their respective areas.

Yet what makes the OC’s bikeway different from others is that it is meant to create a regional path that will connect “activities centers, schools and other major destinations,” Charlie Larwood of the Orange County Transportation Authority told the source.

Larwood and Miller hope that the creation of the bikeway will open up the conversation of additional Complete Streets projects. Because so many projects are in its infancy, those who are interested in moving to Orange County will be heard, perhaps join a committee working on these kinds of plans.