LANCASTER — The Lancaster City Council unanimously supported the designation of the proposed U.S. Bicycle Route 85 through the City but with design modifications to make it safer for bicyclists.

The proposed route is part of a national effort by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to develop a network of public bicycle travel routes known as the U.S. Bicycle Route System. The goal is to facilitate bicycle travel on appropriate roads, paths and highways over routes that are desirable for interstate bicyclists, according to the association’s website.

More than 13,500 miles through 25 states, including Arizona, Nevada, Connecticut and Michigan and the District of Columbia are rideable today, according to the Adventure Cycling Association.

The proposed U.S. Bicycle Route 85 would start near Fresno and end near Tecate, Mexico, with approximately 12 miles going through the City.

The proposed route enters Lancaster through Rancho Vista Boulevard, heads north on 50th Street West north to Columbia Way (Avenue M) then turns west on Avenue L until the road ends at 90th Street West, where it turns to go north past the City limits.

“If you want to use an analogy, this route will be to adventure cyclists as the Pacific Crest Trail is to avid hikers,” a City engineer said at the June 25 City Council meeting, according to a video archive.

The proposed designation would not cost the City anything. If the proposed route should be fully designated the City could install signs or alternative markers along the route, although there is no requirement to do so.

The Adventure Cycling Association, Caltrans, and the California Bicycling Coalition approached City officials to support the proposed U.S. Bicycle Route 85 through the City.

The proposed designation would not impose any constraints or restrictions on the use of a road, street, trail or right-of-way.The majority of the proposed route through the City has existing designated bike lines.  

Should the route be fully designated, Mayor R. Rex Parris said there should be some safety features added.

“What some cities will do will make no changes to the design so that they can be immune; there is a design immunity,” Parris said. “I don’t think that that’s a good policy for us to follow. I mean, if we’re going to be inviting people to ride in a certain area, I think we should make the changes, get this design approval.”

The City Council unanimously approved the proposed designation with the motion by Parris to make the bike lanes safe for riders.

The Palmdale City Council at its June 4 meeting adopted a resolution to support the designation of the proposed U.S. Bicycle Route 85 through the City. The proposed route follows 50th Street West at Avenue N onto Rancho Vista Boulevard to 25th Street West/Highland Avenue to Elizabeth Lake Road; south on Tierra Subida Avenue and onto West Barrel Springs Road.

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