The Turlock City Council voted to not install bicycle lanes as part of the renovations to Golden State Boulevard after receiving complaints from local business owners. The lanes would have effectively eliminated street parking, which has been a major concern ever since the renovations have begun.
According to Director of Developmental Services Katie Quintero, bike lanes were not part of the initial plans in roadwork on Golden State when the project was first discussed, but it was added as the designs were being drawn.
“At the time the impact of what the bike lanes were going to do was not known,” she said. “Looking at the striping plan, it was discovered that the width of the existing right of way of Golden State could not accommodate the Class II bike lane and on-street parking.”
The width of the lanes on the street have not changed and there are no changes to any existing striping. If Council voted to move forward with installing the striping for the bike lane, it would have cost approximately an additional $53,000.
Businesses most affected by the installing bike lanes would have been in the strip from 329 to 385 N. Golden State Boulevard, which includes The Haircut Store, China Café, Balswick’s Quick Smog, California Auto Stereo, Ziggy’s Video Game Exchange and Flowers by Brothers Papadopoulos.
“Basically, I would have been out of business,” said Ziggy Star, owner of Ziggy’s Video Game Exchange. “I dropped to my knees and said ‘thank you’ when I heard. I want to thank the mayor, because she came in here and talked to me. I just want to thank everyone; I would have been dead if people had to park in the back.”
Mayor Amy Bublak said the Council felt the need to act when they received a lot of comments from the public that this was going to affect local businesses.
“When I got home, I must have had over a dozen emails saying ‘what the heck,’” she said. “We didn’t know that this was going to be a problem for the businesses. After that the vice mayor and I walked to each of the businesses and talked about what the problems and the solutions are.”
Councilmember Rebecka Monez agreed that when council voted for the renovations “we were under the impression we would have bike lanes and on-street parking.”
The $2.34 million Golden State Boulevard project will rehabilitate aged pavement segments of the roadway from Main Street to 20th Century Boulevard and include the construction of accessible pedestrian ramps, new traffic striping and replacement of damaged sidewalks, curbs and gutters.
Funding for the project is comprised of $929,033 of federal funds specifically for Golden State Boulevard improvements, $250,000 in gas tax funds, $55,000 in LTF funds and the remaining in Measure L countywide transportation tax funds.