CALIFORNIA (KTXL) — Californians love to bike but in areas lacking bike lanes, riding them as a mode of transportation can be stressful.
The California Bicycle Coalition, also known as CalBike, aims to make the state more bike-friendly through various initiatives.
“We need safe, protected, connected bike networks to make biking a viable transportation option for more Californians,” CalBike Interim Executive Director Kevin Claxton said. “We need to find and support alternatives to driving if we want to address the climate crisis, so California needs to put more resources into safe infrastructure for our greenest vehicle: the bicycle.”
The group estimates that in total California has at least 4,752 miles bikeways just across the state’s biggest and most bike-friendly regions.
For reference, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that California has 396,540 miles of road, nearly 250,000 of which is in urban areas.
No government body in California regularly keeps track of the number of miles of bikeways in a uniform manner but some cities and counties provide estimations.
Estimated miles of bikeways in select California cities, counties and regions:
- Berkeley: 50 miles
- Davis: 102 miles
- Oakland: 160 miles
- San Francisco: 484 miles
- Los Angeles County: 1,172 miles
- Sacramento region: 1767 miles (spans several counties)
- San Diego County: 1771 miles
Some of the estimates date back to 2018 and it’s possible more bike pathways have been built since they were provided.
California Protected Bikeways
In 2014, CalBike supported the passage of a law which it credits with the creation of protected bikeways in the state.
The law defines these separated bikeways as ones that provide “right-of-way designated exclusively for bicycle travel within a roadway and which are protected from other vehicle traffic with devices, including… flexible posts, inflexible physical barriers, or parked cars.”
CalBike points to a 2018 study in the Journal of Transport & Health that showed that protected bike lanes improve safety for bicyclists, pedestrians and even drivers.