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Bikeway plan is gaining speed

Loomis updating plans to make biking, walking, riding safer
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Navigating Loomis by bike, foot, wheelchair or horse may get easier. The town is updating its Bikeways and Trails Master Plans and is holding workshops and seeking public input. “This is all about biking, walking and possible horse trails,” said Russ Kelley, Loomis councilman. The town contracted with Omni-Means, a transportation engineering and planning firm that also specializes in landscape architecture. Marty Inyoue, a principal of Omni-Means is working with Brian Fragiao, town public works director. Inyoue is no stranger to Loomis. His mother, Ida Takahashi Inyoue, grew up in Loomis and he spent time visiting in Loomis over the years. Inyoue’s grandfather owned a farm off of Laird Road along with a shoe store near where the present-day fire station is located, he said. Inyoue’s uncle owned the old Loomis Mutual market. According to Fragiao, the town is using $29,000 of gas-tax money from the state to pay for the plans. As part of the project Omni-Means, which has a main office in Roseville, is identifying existing bikeways and trails, holding public workshops, and will present a final plan in December and outline funding opportunities. “This is a long-term plan. It’s not going to happen overnight,” Fragiao said. He said the study began when he and Inyoue took to the streets of Loomis on bicycles. They spent two days pedaling down all of the main and residential streets. “It’s one thing when you’re riding in a car. When you’re on a bike you feel everything,” Fragiao said. Fragiao said the goal of the bikeway plan is to make biking in town safer, but he said it’s “tough” because some of the roads have very narrow shoulders. He said part of the study will identify routes where connections are needed, and edges need to be wider and pave-ment redone. According to Kelley, the “absolute worst” section to bike is on the east side of Horseshoe Bar Road between the stop signs and the freeway. “It’s not safe. I don’t bike that section. You take your life in your hands,” Kelley said. Kelley expects the study to “establish shovel-ready projects” that can be organized “so when we find money we can put it in place.” A public workshop held in August drew a crowd of more than 40 bicyclists, hikers and equestrians to share their ideas for trails. A second public workshop will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, at the Loomis Depot. Inyoue said the survey results and interpreta-tions will be shared and a basic outline for future trails will be presented. “They’ll still be in pencil. We want to get feedback,” Inyoue said. For more information, visit the town Web site at loomis.ca.gov or call 652-1840. --------------- Bikeways and Trails Master Plans Public Workshop #2 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23 Loomis Depot, Horseshoe Bar Road at Taylor Road Information: Visit town Web site at loomis.ca.gov or call 652-1840