Chico: A Dedicated Bicycle City

The Bicycle Culture of Chico, California

The city of Chico, California encourages the use of bicycles for transportation, fitness, and recreation.  In fact, the city’s cultural identity is very closely associated with bicycling.  Visual tributes to cycling are scattered throughout the city and include murals, public street art, and creatively decorated bicycle racks. Even given the pandemic and schools on distance learning schedules, the sightings of college students traveling on two wheels between Chico State and popular destinations in town are frequent.  So too are families on bicycles traveling between home and work, or to the park or local farmers’ market. 

Chico maintains a network of bike lanes, multi-use trails, and signed bicycle routes that present a safer bicycling environment separated from motor vehicles.  The percentage of people that choose to use bicycles for transportation is approximately double the national average.  The city has been a part of the League of American Bicyclists’ Bike Friendly Communities program for several decades, achieving Gold status in 2016.  

Watch the YouTube Video: Chico holds an annual Bicycle Music Festival.  Here is the first of three parts documenting the 2019 event.

A Long-Term Bicycle Plan

Chico city officials have been proactive in bicycle planning since the early 80s. The City’s inaugural Bicycle Plan was created in 1991.  Since then, it has been updated and revised regularly, most recently in 2012. The Chico Bicycle Plan 2019 Update presents continued evolution of the Bicycle Plan, incorporating progress that has developed since the 2012 update, and adopting newer transportation strategies.

It is important to note that the research for the Bicycle Plan 2019 Update was completed shortly before November 2018’s Camp Fire.  The potential impacts of the fire on the Bicycle Plan are not yet fully known.

2019 Chico Bicycle Plan Update – Highlights

The updates to Chico’s 2012 Bicycle Plan include the following:

  • Expansion of focus from individual bike routes to the development of a complete bicycling network
  • Makes a transition in designations from “Bike Routes” to “Bike Boulevards”
  • Adds Protected Bikeways and Buffered Bike Lanes
  • Updates goals and objectives to reflect changes that have occurred since 2012
  • Updates the project list by removing projects that have been completed and adding new projects
  • Prioritizes projects based on quantifiable criteria
  • Includes recommendations for Wayfinding implementation

What is Wayfinding?

The term “wayfinding” refers to information systems that help to guide people through a physical environment while at the same time enhancing their experience and understanding of the space.  It is an important part of an effective bicycle network. A good wayfinding system helps people connect to destinations via the safest and most comfortable route. Chico’s bike network incorporates comprehensive wayfinding signage on its newer routes, but signage is sporadic and minimal on the network’s older routes.

Other Challenges to the City’s Bike Network

Chico’s existing bike network is fairly comprehensive but it does have some gaps between popular facilities and high-traffic intersections. Other areas that present challenges include the core of the CSU Chico campus, where bikes are prohibited, and the adjacent downtown area, which is lacking in north-south routes. 

Chico Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Hello and thanks for reading.  I’m Ed Smith, a Chico, California bicycle accident lawyer.  Injuries to cyclists caused by a collision with a motor vehicle can be catastrophic.  If you have been hit by a negligent motorist, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced, skilled injury lawyer promptly after the accident.  For close to 40 years I have been a legal advocate for injured Chico residents.  Reach out to my law firm for compassionate, free, and friendly advice at (530) 392-9400, or if you are outside the local area, dial our toll-free number: (800) 404-5400.

To review some of our prior case results, have a look at my website’s settlements and verdicts page.

We are thankful that so many of our prior clients have taken the time to write reviews of our legal services.  They can be found at the following links:

Photo attribution:

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