my letter to caltrans

Dear CalTrans,

I am writing to request a widening of the shoulder to 4 feet on Sunburst Avenue in Joshua Tree. I am a mother of a preschooler. I live just off of Sunburst and the recent tragic death of Tim Kelly as he was cycling North on Sunburst happened less than 1 mile from my house. I believe biking is an excellent mode of transportation. It cuts down on traffic congestion, creates no fuel emissions, limits wear and tear on roads, and promotes an active, healthy lifestyle. I have invested in a mountain bike and bike trailer for my four-year-old son, and we often ride the 2 or 3 miles to play at Sunburst Park or attend Story Time at the Joshua Tree library. Every time we go anywhere on bike, we suit up with helmets, safety vests, and and a big orange flag. But even with all these precautions, I don’t feel safe riding in the road. There is simply not enough room for a car to safely pass a bike because there is no paved shoulder. I ride on the dirt shoulder going down the hill until we get to the paved bike path between the old elementary school and highway 62. But the dirt shoulder is soft sand and hard to ride on, it’s nearly impossible for me coming back up the hill pulling a 40lb kid trailer. A widened shoulder or extension of the bike path would make walking and biking between the community center and elementary school much safer, and I believe a lot more people would choose to walk or bike their kids to school if they could do so without fearing for their lives.

Thank you for your consideration of this topic, and thank you for all you already do to help our community stay safe.

Sincerely,

Maya Toccata

Joshua Tree, CA

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