Ideas from the Handlebars

Last Sunday (10/23) I led a group of eager bicycling enthusiasts around town to brainstorm ideas for improving Healdsburg's bike friendliness.  So many great suggestions came up!  I'll do my best to distill them into a quick but meaningful summary.

Improving bike friendliness has many benefits


Reduce parking demand

  • Coordinate with other transportation initiatives to provide effective alternatives to private cars
  • Identify and target significant sources of demand for downtown parking
    • Car rentals from STS (Sonoma County Airport)
    • SoFi and other downtown employers
    • Out of town visitors
    • …?
  • Establish semi-public “Uber Pool” shuttle
    • Fixed pick-up spots at STS, Smart terminal, park & ride
    • Variable on-demand destinations can be anywhere within city limits
    • Subsidized by hotels, major employers, city
  • Create a series of bike or car share lots downtown
    • If visitors can somehow get here without a car, they can use bike or car share to get around - no need to rent a car
    • Residents can use it as an alternative to 2nd car - save high-density parking requirements
  • Partner with self-driving startups / initiatives?

Serve unique transportation needs

  • Day laborers who can't afford a car
  • In-town employees who might not need to drive to work every day
  • Out-of-town employees who commute into town
  • Residents who want to ride for leisure or errands
  • Bay Area visitors who are likely to bring their own car
  • Long-distance visitors who are likely to be renting a car
  • …?


Some highly effective first steps: Enhance / adjust / expand biking "arteries"


Improve existing bike routes

  • Establish well-marked pathways that are safe and more or less level
  • Install clearly visible bike path markers on all bike routes
    • Markers to not need to be extravagant
    • Simple purple "sharrows" on the street plus signage would suffice
  • Drop University between Grant and Powell - Move to Reed / Bianca / Josephine
  • Remove bollards (posts that are designed to block large vehicles like cars)
    • They can be dangerous
    • They impede some kinds of bikes like pedicabs
    • Other strategies can be just as effective at blocking vehicles
  • Improve the crosswalk at Lupine / Johnson and Powell - Auto-sensing lights?
  • Use Grant St bike path crossing as a great model for future crossings
  • Widen Grove St from the current north end of the bike path to Dry Creek Rd
  • Convert RH lane of Dry Creek Rd from Grove St to Healdsburg Ave
  • Improve bike crossing at Dry Creek / March & Healdsburg Ave

Create new bike routes

  • Dry Creek Rd between Grove and Healdsburg Ave
  • Grant St between University and Bike Path
  • Extend bike path from Grove & Dry Creek to Parkland Farms
  • Johnson St from Powell to Grant

Ongoing efforts: Improve bike infrastructure

Expand sources of funding for bike infrastructure

  • Development impact fees
  • Federal transportation grants
  • Measure V
  • Public / Private partnerships
  • …?

Expand availability of bike amenities and safe & secure parking 

  • Install repair stations - Suggested locations:
    • Chamber of Commerce Park
    • Off the Plaza - Bike Parking space at Center St? North? Healdsburg Ave?
    • Behind the Bear
    • Cerri Building (whenever that happens)
    • …?
  • Revive public/private bike rack purchase and installation partnership program
  • Experiment with bike LOCKERS
    • Bike lockers have several advantages over racks:
      • Can't see what's inside
      • Can secure more than just the frame & wheels
    • Lockers have been successfully funded using 100% transportation grant money
    • Institute small-scale bike LOCKER pilot program to gauge demand
  • Convert ONE off-plaza parking space to bike racks (with repair station?) - Suggested locations:
    • West side of Center - first spot north of Plaza (replace little-used motorcycle space)
    • South side of Plaza - first spot east of Center (not ideal for cars - too tight)
    • East side of Healdsburg Ave - first spot south of Plaza (consistent with adjacent bus & taxi use)
    • Anywhere in the new parking lots - Cerri Building, West Plaza, Xmas Tree
  • Create Chamber of Commerce Bike Park!
    • Prominently positioned at entrance to downtown
    • Lots of space including shady areas
    • Adjacent to bike path
    • Consistent with Plaza business interests (easier to fund!)
    • Close to Depot, Plaza, H2
    • No disruption to existing land use
    • Easy access to electricity (to power bike lockers)

Incorporate biking considerations into zoning / regulations / planning

  • Plan for bike amenities with EVERY residential, hotel or parking project design
  • Establish recommended guidelines for design and placement of bike racks

Showing 2 reactions

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  • Carol Hansen
    commented 2018-11-21 05:54:05 -0800
    I guess it’s such a great idea, with team of I want to do the same for better staff interaction.
  • Joseph Naujokas
    published this page in Let's Talk 2016-10-25 23:19:26 -0700