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Turlock needs more bike lanes, sidewalks

Dear Editor, 

I am writing this letter to the Turlock Journal as a local resident of this town who is concerned with the state of local transportation. As an active student of Pitman High School, I spend time commuting to school and friends’ houses. In my circle of peers, I have found that the people who live in the northern section of town typically bike to their destinations, while the ones who live in the southern section have to drive. The main reason for this is that only the northern half of town has access to dedicated bike lanes and paths. This is very obvious when you drive down Christoffersen or Monte Vista, and compare it to Canal or Main.

Recently, when gas prices were at their peak, I tried biking instead of driving. When I tried biking on the road, it lacked a bike lane or a shoulder; it was extremely dangerous, putting myself at risk of accidentally being hit, as well as slowing other drivers down. The next time I tried riding on the sidewalk, to use it, I had to illegally cross the street as there were no dedicated crosswalks. The sidewalk was uneven and had obstacles, so I ended up popping my tire.

Turlock needs to make an effort to make the town safer. Bike lanes will improve the city's poor air quality, decrease the need for parking space, encourage the use of public transportation, make citizens healthier, and many other benefits. Bike lanes as well as sidewalks, shade from large trees, and more charming architecture can make this city much more appealing to live in. Bringing in new people and helping the city's long-term economy. So, I’m advocating for this city to start by adding bike lanes equally throughout the town.

— Harrison Day