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Carmel / Hwy 1 – Bike Safe, Carmel Valley Rd to Carpenter

Voice your desire to make Highway 1, Carmel biking safer
Guest post by Alex Cappelli, Vice President, Velo Club Monterey

California State Parks is developing a General Plan for the Carmel Area State Parks. They are seeking input from the public on how these lands will best serve the needs of the community.

They will be holding an educational meeting/public workshop on Wednesday, April 18, 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Rancho Canada Golf Club in Carmel.

Hatton Canyon

[See Mari’s comment below for update to this guest post by Alex.] Of particular importance with regard to bicycling is the Hatton Canyon. A bike path through Hatton Canyon would provide cyclists with a safe and direct route from Carmel Valley Road to the intersection of Carpenter and Highway 1.

Improving this area for bicycle travel will benefit the residents of this neighborhood by reducing carbon emissions, noise pollution, traffic congestion, and more.  Residents who have questions or who may have any concerns about bicyclists are encouraged to contact me: Alex Cappelli, VCMonterey.org.

What’s there now

This project has come up for development before and was only minimally addressed.  The Class I bike/multiuse path at the mouth of the valley stretches a very short distance. It has the benefit of getting cyclists out of Highway 1 traffic briefly, while it provides easy access to reach the adjacent shopping centers, including two bike shops.

But how far does it go?  The southern end is just south of Rio Road. It ends under the bridge, where unsuspecting southbound travelers find they’ve arrived nowhere and must return the way they came, or make their way up the embankment to the highway.

And the northern end?  After the tunnel provides safe passage across Carmel Valley Road, unsuspecting northbound travelers find that the path does not go anywhere!

Why the northbound path doesn’t yet continue

Previously, a paved bike path through a portion of Hatton Canyon was cancelled.  That decision was made following a letter-writing campaign by some Hatton Canyon residents. If one reads through the record, it becomes apparent that a few form letters had the result of denying cyclists a much-needed path.

Be a voice for safe cycling, the environment, and the economy

This time, it is important that the bike community makes clearer the vital nature of this bike path for public safety, and for the environment and economy.  (This area is a major ecorecreation attraction.) It is also important that bicyclists communicate with Hatton Canyon residents to help identify and address any legitimate concerns, and to share with them the benefits of this bike path to residents.

Why show up

A good turnout at the April 18 meeting by area cyclists will help impress upon decision makers that riding Highway 1 in this area is dangerous and that all the other routes over the hill are poor alternatives.

Please mark April 18, 6:00-7:30 p.m. on your calendars, and make every effort to attend.  At this meeting, you will have the opportunity to speak directly to a State Park employee, and your comments will be entered into the public record.

This is important.  Let’s not let the opportunity to improve this neighborhood and important travel connection slip away.

For more information

Go to the following link:  http://www.parks.ca.gov/caspgp

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Related posts on this site

Bicycle advocacy:  What you can do

Bicycling Carmel

Serious Cyclists

Nice, as far as it goes (not far enough!).
Take it a step farther. Get cyclists up to the Carpenter Street exit safely!
Don’t stop here. Keep safer bikeways coming!

(Click on image to enlarge.)

  1. Steve Cutcomb says:

    My wife and I are planning on visiting Monterey in July, 2016, and will have bicycles. We will be staying near the north end of the Hatton Canyon Trail, and would be very interested in bicycling to the shopping center bordering Carmel Valley Road, without going on route 1.

    We are looking for options now.

    Best regards.

  2. marilynch says:

    Thanks for your inquiry, Steve. You’ll likely find some info of interest in Bicycling Monterey’s bike Carmel tips – http://bit.ly/bikecarmel In July, among visitors you’ll see biking Carmel is Australian Carey Beebe, who has biked to Carmel Bach Festival and its venues around the county the past 17 years. See Bicycling Monterey’s post, http://bit.ly/BachBeebe

    New wayfinding signage is coming from Transportation Agency for Monterey County. Already available is TAMC’s newly revised countywide bike map; see http://marilynch.com/blog/bicycle-maps-monterey-county-2016-bike-map-and-other-local-and-non-local-bicycle-maps.html

    There are two bike shops right in that neighborhood, Bay Bikes and Carmel Bicycle; look up for the Barnyard’s windmill and you’ll be near them both. You may want to stop in and chat with those neighborhood pros after you’ve arrived; see http://bit.ly/BicycleShops And Bicycling Monterey’s main resources section, http://bit.ly/BikeMRYResources, includes the vcmonterey.org Answer Man, among other helpful people. You’re also welcome to phone me, http://bit.ly/ContactMari.

    Although Carmel area is a beautiful place to ride, we still have a long way to go to make our bicycling network more friendly and complete. TAMC proposed building a paved path through the Hatton Canyon area. It makes sense that even though more people biking there has environmental benefits, some neighbors felt any paving would be too disruptive to the wildlife and natural beauty of the area. For that reason, TAMC built the shorter path and undercrossing. This offers Class I access under Carmel Valley Road to the southern end of Hatton Canyon. Refer to California State Parks website to learn more about Hatton Canyon, an unclassified park unit, and the effort that goes into protecting it: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=26868

    Need for improvements in this vicinity still exists, of course, along with the need for a better route along or around Highway 1 between Carmel and Monterey. Among infrastructure improvements for Carmel since the 2012 post was written, see “Rio Road, Carmel vicinity bike lanes get the green light” – http://marilynch.com/blog/july-13-carmel-community-meeting-about-rio-road-want-bike-lanes-speak-up.html

    We love having visitors bike, especially those like you who plan ahead so they are acquainted with CA bike laws, Monterey County sidewalk ordinances, and such: http://bit.ly/CABikeLaws. Thursdays year-round, take advantage of the “welcome mat” for people who bike – hundreds of HER Helmet Thursdays 10-50% discounts for Monterey County’s visitors and locals: http://bit.ly/HHTdiscounts Even on those rare restricted dates, such as during Bach Fest, many locations unaffected by a particular special event like that are still happy to provide the discount; simply phone ahead and ask – see http://bit.ly/HHTDateRestrix Welcome!

  3. Mari,
    Your rich reply put us into a path to the answer. The TAMC PDF bike-routes map of the area gave us a clue, listing Hatton Canyon Trail as totally unpaved, and we eMailed TAMC for into to clarify. Virginia Murillo of TAMC eMailed us back, confirming, to our delight, that the entire length of Hatton Canyon Trail is accessible by bicycle. Our mtn bike commute plan from Flanders Dr to Carmel Valley Rd, via Hatton Canyon Trail, will work! We will share references to you, and your web-site(s), with friends who also sometimes visit the Monterey peninsula with their bikes for recreation.
    Best regards,
    Steve Cutcomb

  4. marilynch says:

    Thank you for your additional comment, Steve. Thanks too for sharing with your friends the Bicycling Monterey website (and TAMC’s website), and for your thoughtfulness in making a generous contribution in appreciation for the Bicycling Monterey work. Happy to have you among the people on Bicycling Monterey’s Financial Contributors page. Wishing you safe and happy travels.

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