gmhTODAY 16 gmhToday Sept Oct 2017 - Page 73

Kyle McElroy, Morgan Hill resident, father of two and a triathlete, loves riding here for its variety of terrain and the “hard to beat” weather. He appreciates that lots of the roads are sparsely used by cars, especially early in the morning, or have wide shoulders. He’s pleased by improvements to Watsonville and McKean roads to add more of a shoulder, which will make things safer for cyclists, and easier on the drivers. “The best part, though, is that I rarely have to put my bike on my car in order to ride.  Most of my riding is done starting and ending at my house.  That is really great.” Another place for “some nice riding” according to Munk, is up in the dirt roads of Henry Coe State Park. “You can climb the mountain, it’s really low traffic and gets you out of the wind, and it’s one of the few areas you can go and not have any conflicts with vehicles.” Conflicts with vehicles have been an ongoing issue between cyclists and drivers in town, because so many people use Morgan Hill as part of their commuter thoroughfare, and because a number of cyclists take group rides. Munk’s club has taken to arranging their Saturday rides even earlier, and simply avoids riding at any commute time. Specialized admits its part in frustrating drivers with their group rides. “About a year-and-a-half ago a community member brought to our attention video of people not riding safely on the road, so we realized we had to lead by example,” said Katie Sue Gruener, Global Public Relations Manager for Specialized. Since then they instituted firmer reminders of the rules of the road with their “how we roll” guidelines posted all over the company’s Morgan Hill location: How We Roll RESPECT for all traffic laws, like responsible and intelligent adults RESPECT to all those we encounter: motorists, riders, runners, kids in crosswalks, etc. BE COOL and say hello to everyone we meet while out riding DON’T FORGET that when we ride we are representing both Specialized and cyclists at large BE RESPONSIBLE and have the courage to remind anyone that is not riding in accordance However, drivers also need to remember that they are in a vehicle that could cause fatal damage to a bicyclist, and sometimes bicyclists don’t hear or notice a car behind them. Munk recommends that drivers not urge groups of cyclists to spread out, because “You just create a long line of cyclists, which makes it even more difficult for cars to pass,” he said. Instead, he recommends cars attempt to pass a group when it’s safe. McElroy added, “It is important to me that when people read about cyclists, they remember that we are people.  We have spouses, children, and parents that worry about us when we ride.”   The city has been working to improve safety in numerous different ways. After a failed attempt to make Monterey road GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN through downtown just one lane of car traffic in each direction, the city adopted a compromise, turning the bicycle-only lane into a share lane, so that both cars and bicycles can use them. “What they have now is the best solution,” said Munk. “It doesn’t prevent cars and you get the best of both worlds.” He and other cyclists would like to see these kinds of lanes in other places where the shoulder of the road is too narrow for safe bicycling, or where the roads have a fast, windy descent where a bike can go almost as fast as a car. “If you let the cyclist share that section of road until the descent ends, it keeps everybody safer.” Fortunately the city of Morgan Hill is on the same page when it comes to safety. Community Services Director, Chris Ghione explained that the city has just updated its Master Plan, which includes a series of new bikeways and trails. While safety is of paramount importance to the city, they’re also taking into account the community’s desires for more bike trails, and more links in the existing trails to create a more solid commuter network. “A big one we’re working on, which is a couple years away, is the West Little Llagas trail by the CRC, which goes to Watsonville Road,” said Ghione. They plan to take this trail all the way south to Lake Silvera, at the southern city limits, further south on Monterey Road, and to bring it further north up to Dunne Avenue. “Someday we’d like to take it into downtown,” he added, though admitted it is “cost prohibitive.” Bill Haskell, a member of the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), along with the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Group (BPAG) has been working closely with the city to speak on behalf of the bicycling community. They’ve been focusing on getting the city to create “a nice family bicycle path from Coyote Creek trail into downtown Morgan Hill” and to label lanes that could be used as bike lanes more effectively. While the downtown trail may be a long ways off, there is a big one in the plan that Ghione says the city hopes to fund with grant money through the VTA as well as possibly Measure B funds. They call it the Madrone Channel Trail, w ́ݹѡ]ѕ)ɥи%׊eɔɥ٥!݅ā9Ѡͥѡɽ)ԁ͕ݡɔ݅ѕȁ̸ͥq]ٔɕЁѼ͔)ѡЁȁ݅ЁɥЁ܁ӊéи]eݽɬ)ݥѠѡ݅ѕȁɥЁѼٔѡЁٕՅ䁡ЁѼѡ) є ɕQɅtͅ)QɗéͼѼѕݡЁѡ䁍q ѕə1)AɬtѡɅЁЁѼѡɽѡӊéݥ)͵ѡЁͥȁȁ危́Ѽ͔ѡȁݸ) ѕəI)=ѡȁ́Ցՙɕ̰ݡٔ危)ɔݕѡ̰Ё䁍ѽ́ ѕə)́5ѕɕ䁅]ͽ٥ɽ́ѡЁɔձȁݥѠ)危̸qAݽձͅȁͥѡ͔́ѡ䁡ɔ)ՙȳtͅ!ѡЁѡéѥٔ̃qݔ݅ЁѼ)ЁѡͅЁͥȁ危́ѽɥ̻t)́5ɝ!ѥՕ́Ѽɽܰձͼݥ́٥ͥ)͡ɥѡɽ)MAQ5 H= Q= H)ѽ乍(