BTAC On-Road Subcommittee Members head east on Alta Vista St. – the Chicago-bound path of Bike Route 66 and a good candidate for retrofitting with bike lanes.
On April 23, the Trails Program Manager took a tour of parts of “Bike Route 66” through Santa Fe with members of the Bicycle and Trails Advisory Committee’s “On-Road Subcommittee.”
Bike Route 66 is a long-distance bicycle touring route that has been mapped and promoted by Adventure Cycling Association. It is the newest of three ACA routes that pass through New Mexico.
Eastbound Alta Vista St.: Much of the parking that occurs on this side of the street is not legal (e.g. the white car). Alta Vista St. could be retrofitted with bike lanes on both sides of the street between St. Francis Dr. and just short of Luisa St. at the expense of at most just three legal parking spaces (occupied by vehicles in background). Meanwhile all of the properties on this side of the street have their own, ample off-street parking. Does the City have the political will required to stripe in bike lanes for Bike Route 66 and local cyclists, possibly at the expense of three parking spaces? (see next photo)
Until recently, State Bike Route 9 offered the only destination-oriented bicycle wayfinding in the city. This one-way street, Don Gaspar, is a critical local bike route and the site of the City’s only bike lane retrofit to ever occur at the expense of legal parking – well over five years ago. It is also both the eastbound AND westbound routes of Bike Route 66 as it leaves the plaza area.
Bike Route 66 inbound from Chicago follows much of State Bike Route 9.
The bike lane is shared with a right-turn lane on northbound Old Pecos Trail: Not a problem!
Where the routes diverge, State Bike Route 9 follows the old city-designated bike route on San Mateo and Galisteo, providing access to the Railyard area, while Bike Route 66 now stays on Old Pecos Trail toward the plaza – taking advantage of the northbound bike lane that the City extended nearly to Old Santa Fe Trail just last year.
The tour included examination of existing bike route signage, including generic signs erected on downtown routes by the City more than 20 years ago, and signs for “State Bike Route 9” erected by NMDOT and the City about ten years ago. The group focused on portions of the route between Old Las Vegas Highway and the plaza and out to the Rail Trail at Alta Vista St.
From US285 near Eldorado all the way to the Plaza, ACA’s “Bike Route 66” and the Historic Route 66 “Byway” are now one and the same.
Bike Route 66 is a real thing! This pair of long-range bike tourists we encountered on Alta Vista St. is headed coast-to-coast via Bike Route 66 and then ACA’s Transamerica Route from Missouri east.
The pair asked about services in Pecos, but we encouraged them to follow the new alignment of Bike Route 66 and visit the plaza first – they did, and in the end they decided to stay in Santa Fe! Alta Vista at Galisteo, in the background, would make a good spot for wayfinding signage to the plaza – for local cyclists as well as for these long-range tourists.
The westbound route of Bike Route 66 uses the Rail Trail and Arroyo Chamiso Trail from Alta Vista St. to Richards Ave., where a formal trail connection identified in the Bicycle Master Plan is still sorely needed. In the foreground, the Rail Trail is identified via a community-based signage initiative that took place years ago, but remains as the only information available for those who are not already familiar with the trail.
A few weeks later, two more Bike Route 66 users from Arkansas were encountered on Malaga St. They were following the old route of Bike Route 66 – which “short-circuited” on itself here, to skip the Plaza!