Trail construction fills in gaps for cyclists

New construction is in the works in the Folsom Historic District to create Folsom’s first Class IV bike lanes which is expected to be completed in September.

The Lake Natoma Trail Gap Closure Project limits are along the north side of Leidesdorff Street and Riley Street extending from Reading Street to Scott Street. The construction began in early May.

The protected Class IV bike trail coming up from Lake Natoma will allow bicyclists an exclusive 12-feet-wide lane, separate from vehicles and pedestrians. A parallel sidewalk will also be built for pedestrians.

“It’s the first Class IV bike trail, which is a little different for the first one the city has,” said Jim Konopka, senior park planner for the City of Folsom. “That’s a busy area in the Historic District, so we didn’t want to try to mix bikes and pedestrians in that area.”

To help cyclists navigate, the new bike lane will be colored red instead of the standard black asphalt.

“That’s going to help people realize that once you’re on [the lane], just follow that colored trail. That way, they really can’t get lost,” Konopka said. “A big problem is that inexperienced cyclists will come on to the trails. If we have that particular pavement colored, I think it would make it easier for [cyclists] to identify where they are and where they go.”

Traffic has been shifted to accommodate construction, but road closures should not be expected.

“The first phase we started now; we basically moved traffic over. As we move down with construction, you’ll still have two-way traffic,” Konopka said. “The only drawback is cyclists. They happen to compete with the smaller lanes of traffic for that short time.”

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