Jul 25, 2019
by Sarah Glade Gurney
You can do something about the traffic in town! Walk, ride your bike, or take the Local Shuttle #24 and leave your car parked at home.
Now in their eleventh year, the volunteer leaders of the Sebastopol Walks Program continue to offer new adventures and to repeat some favorites around town, under sponsorship from the City. The three-hour-long events are scheduled once a month, from February through November, meeting on the last Saturday at The Plaza at 9 AM, with a 9:15 AM departure. This schedule may change due to holidays and special routes.
On August 24, docent Simon Lowings will take participants where few people have hiked before: into the heart of the Laguna, an area only exposed in the dry season. The trails are rough so it might help to bring a hiking stick or poles, along with a hat, water and snack.
This exceptional “Walk Through the Laguna” will start from The Plaza at the later time of 9:15 AM and will also finish later around 1 PM. From The Plaza, the group will board the FREE Shuttle #24 and ride to the southerly edge of town to walk to Laguna Farm, a CSA that produces vegetables for members’ food boxes and for farmer’s markets, including Sebastopol’s own on Sundays. The farm’s owner has promised a private tour. Then the group heads back to The Plaza through the Laguna Uplands and a section of the Joe Rodota Trail.
The Council unanimously supports a new event created by the Ped/Bike/Transit Sub-Committee: SebastoPedal GREEN on September 21, 2019, from 9 AM to 11 AM. Join new and veteran cyclists to experience the green bike lanes along Main Street, Petaluma and Healdsburg Avenues. This morning is sponsored by the City of Sebastopol and the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition.
The event has several purposes. First, to educate cyclists about the safe and proper use of the bike lanes. Second, to encourage non-cyclists and former cyclists to get on bikes and try the green bike lanes in the more protected setting of an organized event. Third, to increase driver awareness of cyclists traveling in these lanes. Fourth, to populate the bike lanes during the event [to be filmed].
“We wholeheartedly support it,” reports Sebastopol’s Police Chief James Conner. “Bike and ped safety are important and we are committed to doing what we can to help improve it.” The meeting spot will be the SPD’s “front lawn” and parking lot on Laguna Parkway.
The morning will start with a quick bike check, assuming local shops volunteer to help, then a safety talk and orientation to the green lanes. From the SPD location, riders will enter the green lane at the intersection of Laguna Parkway and McKinley [across from The Plaza] and travel north or south, to the stoplights and crosswalks at Mill Station and Lynch Road, for as many loops as each wants to ride. Imagine a ribbon of cyclists circling our town in the green lanes!
Bike helmets will be available for those without. Participants will receive a red “blinky,” the rear taillight for their bikes, as new safety gear.
Volunteers are needed. Can you help? Please contact me at email@example.com and put GREEN in the subject line.
The Local Shuttle #24 is FREE for another year, thanks to the City Council’s continued support for public transit — and the Bus Buddies will ride again during September and October. Check next month’s column for specific details about how and when to find a buddy if you’d like one to help you learn your way around town.
Returning Buddies and new volunteers are welcome to sign up, for a training session [if necessary] and a one-hour buddy-ride. Email me if you’re interested and put FREE #24 in the subject line.
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