CATHEDRAL CITY – Bicycle riders who share Gerald Ford Drive with thousands of motorists each day could soon have access to designated bicycle lanes that would leave cyclists less exposed.
The City Council on Wednesday will consider an agreement for to pay for the lanes with the Riverside County Transportation Commission under Senate Bill 821. The bicycle lanes would be installed on Gerald Ford Drive between Date Palm Drive and Da Vall Drive in both directions.
Total estimated cost of the project is $27,400. Under the proposed agreement, RCTC would pick up 80 percent, or $21,920 of the project. Cathedral City would pick up the remaining 20 percent, or $5,480. The city’s participation would be paid for from available Traffic Safety Funds.
If approved, the city has 24 months to complete the project.
Bicycles and vehicular traffic currently share the road along Gerald Ford Drive from Date Palm Drive to our eastern City limits at Da Vall Drive due to the lack of designated bicycle lanes. For bicyclists this is not optimal and presents an exposed mode of travel with the adjacent vehicular traffic driving at posted speeds of 45 MPH with the 85th percentile speeds averaging 50 MPH, according to John Corella, Director of Engineering/Public Works.
The average daily traffic (ADT) on Gerald Ford Drive between Date Palm Drive and Plumley Road is 9,306 vehicles per day and the ADT on Gerald Ford Drive between Plumley Road and Da Vall Drive is 11,972 vehicles per day.
The City is proposing to install bicycle lanes on Gerald Ford Drive between Date Palm Drive and Da Vall Drive in both directions. Bike lanes will only be installed on Cathedral City streets. There will be no bike lanes on westbound Gerald Ford between Plumley Road and Da Vall Drive. Gerald Ford Drive is on the south side of the city and runs parallel to Highway 111. The project proposes to install bicycle lanes for the entirety of the segment.
Gerald Ford Drive is classified as a major highway with a posted speed limit of 45 MPH.
Installing bicycle lane markings on Gerald Ford Drive will provide additional driver awareness and bicycle location guidance. The proposed segments will eliminate conflict between bicycles, and vehicles., according to Corella The proposed project will add safe and effective route for bicyclists to travel on Gerald Ford Drive. Drivers will also be notified and guided with the presence of the bicycle lanes markings. In addition, the proposed project will encourage more use of active transportation and hence increase community health.
- Bicycle lanes: Shutterstock