Adventure Cycling route blocked?

We want Caltrans to live up to its responsibility and stated goals to provide for bicycling as well as motor vehicle transportation. When a State Highway is to be unavailable for bicycling there should be a usable other route for people to bike through, right? Or that highway should be made accessible for people to use by bicycle. Seems pretty clear to us.
Here’s what I sent to Caltrans.
Director Dougherty:

I am providing this email and will follow up with a letter on behalf of the members of your California Bicycle Advisory Committee (CBAC), and also on behalf of the Calif. Assoc. of Bicycling Organizations ( and the bicycle travelers who depend on the Adventure Cycling Association for maps of appropriate bicycling routes across the USA.

Caltrans District 8 has refused to make certain shoulders of State Highway/freeways available for bicycle travel in spite of their being no available viable alternative route for bicycling. Viable bicycling routes in California are vital, especially for the “Bicycle Route 66” part of an effort by the Adventure Cycling Assoc. to provide National Trails across the USA.

The present position of District 8 – refusal to allow freeway shoulder use or to provide an alternative route – seems to be contrary to current Caltrans policy for providing for bicycling travel, not just for motor vehicle travel. The refusal also seems to be contrary to State and Highway Code 888, which we understand to place responsibility on Caltrans to provide for bicycle travel either on or adjacent to a State Highway route that is available for motor vehicle travel.

At the December 4, 2014, CBAC members voted to bring to your attention their recommendation that Caltrans/you direct District 8 act to provide for bicycle travel along this route. I do so now.

I will be in Sacramento February 4th and for the next CBAC meeting February 5, 2015. I would like to meet with you about this request. I may be able to also have present a representative from the Adventure Cycling Association who can provide in person more detailed information about this need.

Following is detail is the issue:

There is currently no legal route for cyclists to travel between Ludlow and Barstow California. The I-40 freeway between these two communities is posted “Bicycles Prohibited” and the adjacent legal route, Historic Route 66, also known as the National Trails Highway (NTH) is currently closed to all traffic.
Adventure Cycling’s Bicycle Route 66 maps will go to print in mid-January and will be released to the public in early March.
This route will one day be part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System an AASHTO project that Adventure Cycling supports & provides technical assistance to.
The NTH is currently closed due to flooding. 5 bridges are out and it will take until at least February or March for the bridges to re open. We expect touring cyclists may start as early as March or April.
The NTH road surface is in extremely poor condition and is not safe for cycling
I-40 runs parallel to the NTH and we’ve been informed that the freeway is posted “Bicycle Prohibited” from mile marker 00 to 133
The NTH is closed now and will continue to be closed periodically in the future due to future issues related to storm and flood damage common in the area or construction on the roadway.
Cyclists need a legal and safe way to travel and I-40 is the solution
I-40 has 8 ft shoulders bordered by a rumble strip and the region is very rural with low traffic counts
Bicycle travelers are used to riding periodically on rural freeways

Based upon the fact that Caltrans District 8 has provided no reason for prohibiting bicycles on this section of I-40, the California Bicycle Advisory Council highly recommends Director Dougherty allow bicycle access on I-40 minimally between Exits 2 and 5 around the Marine Base and optimally from Ludlow to Barstow.
The Adventure Cycling Association needs to provide this information on their maps which go to print in January, this is extremely time sensitive.
Please ensure cyclists have a legal route to travel along this 40 mile corridor
Caltrans should consider instituting a future policy that will ensure when a Caltrans manages roadway that is currently posted “Bicycle Prohibited” and the identified adjacent roadway is closed, that there is a procedure to ensure cyclists have a legal and safe way to travel through that corridor.

Thank you.

Jim Baross
​CBAC Co-Chair
President, Calif. Assoc. of Bicycling Organizations​
San Diego, CA

This entry was posted in Miscellaneous on by .

About Jim Baross

I bicycled across the USA from East to West in 1976 leading groups of bicyclists for the “Bikecentennial ’76 “event and again in 2007 riding this time from West to East with my two sons. I was first certified as an Effective Cycling Instructor in 1986 by the League of American Bicyclist and have been an active League Cycling Instructor for the League since then. In 2002 I gained acceptance as a Cycling Instructor Trainer and since then have conducted 11 training seminars for certification of League Cycling Instructors held in San Diego, San Jose, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Sacramento, Morgan Hill, Fairfax, and Palo Alto. I completed the San Diego Police Bicycle Skills Menu Course in 2003 and I have been an expert witness for bicycling crash incidents. I presently serve on several bicycling advisory committees and advocacy organizations. Chair - Bicycle-Pedestrian Advisory Working Group for the San Diego regional association of governments since 1995 Vice Chair - California Bicycle Advisory Committee for the State Dept of Transportation, a member since 1992 President - California Association of Bicycling Organizations Board member - California Bicycle Coalition California State Ambassador – League of American Bicyclists Co-Chair California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, Challenge Area 13, Improving Bicycling Safety Conferences, seminars and similar events at which I have attended and presented bicycling safety information and training include the following: Speaker/Presenter, Calif. Office of Traffic Safety, Summit “What to do about all these bicycles in Traffic”, 2009 ProWalk-ProBike Conference, Seattle WA., 2008 Attendee/Speaker, League of American Bicyclists, Bike Education Conference, Wisconsin and New York City, 2002 & 2007 Velo Mondial, Amsterdam. 2000 Speaker/Presenter, Calif. Office of Traffic Safety’s Summit “A Vision for Roads to Traffic Safety”, 2000 Speaker Autovation conference, San Diego 2005 Chair, California Strategic Highway Safety Plan, #13 - Improve Bicycling Safety Presenter, California Strategic Highway Safety Plan Summit, 2008 Anaheim Attendee, League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Summit, Washington, DC, 2006 & 2008 Presenter, Walk/Bike California Conferences, Oakland 2003, Ventura 2005, Davis 2007 Speaker, Making the Connection International Trails and Greenways Conference Presenter, Safety N Kids, Conference, “Children Learn Best by Good Examples From Those They Trust”, 2006 Speaker, ITE Conference 2006 Dana Point, Calif., “Engineering for Bicycling, From a Bicyclists Point of View” Exhibitor/Speaker, Lifesavers, National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities, 2004 References familiar with my bicycling background and experience include: Kathy Keehan, Exec Director San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, Ph: 858-487-6063, Email: Stephan Vance, Chair Calif. Bicycle Coalition and SANDAG Senior Planner, Ph: 619-595-5324, Email: Ken McGuire, Chief Bicycle Facilities Unit, California Dept of Transportation, Ph: 916-653-2750, Email: Preston Tyree, Director of Education, League of American Bicyclists, 1612 K St., NW, #800, Washington, DC 20006, Ph: 202-822-1333 x 227, Email: