In 2001, Colby Crotzer, then a Morro Bay city councilman, formed a Citizens Bike Committee for the “advocacy and creation of an efficient interconnected network of safe, scenic bikeways and community paths.”
Last fall, the committee suggested a bike route map to support the Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan. Barry Rands, an associate engineer with the city whose duties include developing the bike master plan, was supportive but indicated funding was not available.
“That didn’t stop the committee,” chairman Red Davis said. “Something wonderful can be accomplished when private citizens, city officials and local nonprofit organizations work together for a common purpose.”
The San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club and the Morro Bay Tourism Bureau partnered with the committee and city to fund the project. Council member Christine Johnson invited Karin Moss, executive director of the Tourism Bureau; Mary Hay, Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce member; Dave Shultz, owner of The Bike Shop in Morro Bay, as well as Rands and Davis to make it happen.
“The goal was for a visitor to Morro Bay to be able to pick up the map and cycle the safest route possible to the Rock, Del Mar Park, or Morro Strand,” Davis said. “The map actually shows all the city’s bike routes — Class I separated paths like the ones through the Cloisters; Class II bike lanes striped and signed on city streets; Class III routes that are considered to be safe for recreational cyclists, such as Beachcomber and Sandalwood streets. Public restrooms, parks, and even future facilities such as the Harborwalk extension across Morro Creek and the local transit center on Harbor Street are shown. RTA transports bikes from Morro Bay to San Luis Obispo, Hearst Castle or South County so the map includes a larger regional map with connections to nearby coastal communities. It
also has helpful safety tips for cyclists.”
Geoffrey Chiapella, a transportation planner with the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, provided GIS work to make the map possible. Hay Printing produced 2,500 copies. Moss and Rands distributed them to motels, campgrounds, shops, the Morro Bay Visitors Center and public facilities.
“We know visitors enjoy cycling in the area. Often the hotels have loaner bikes,” Davis said. “The Central Coast is considered a bicyclists’ paradise. SLOBC has supported many Estero Bay cycling projects, including the Morro Bay 4th bicycle parade and the proposed bike park on Main Street in Morro Bay.”
David said the Citizens Committee is collaborating with Morro Bay 50th Anniversary Committee to organize two bike tours scheduled for May 10 and Oct. 18. Preliminary details are at www.morrobay50th.com.
“There is enough money left to print more copies when future facilities such as the Morro Creek Bridge and the City Bike Park are completed later this year,” Rands said.
The map is also posted on Morro Bay’s website. Search “documents” at www.morro-bay.ca.us
Judy Salamachas column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-1422.