Ventura is a bronze-rated bicycle friendly community. Photos by Michael Gordon
Ventura Mayor Sofia Rubalcava, local officials, the City of Ventura, and Caltrans held a community bike ride on Saturday, May 21, at 9:00 a.m. at Westpark Community Center, located at 450 W. Harrison Ave. The bike ride celebrated the $5 million Clean California Grant awarded for the Ventura River Trail.
“May is National Bike Month and this is an opportunity to celebrate the many supportive efforts to renovate and reinvigorate the Ventura River Trail,” shared Mayor Sofia Rubalcava. “We hope everyone can join us in celebrating this important win for our beloved Ventura River Trail.”
“For many years this trail has provided community members access to their local schools, places of work, and recreation facilities,” said Ventura Mayor Sofia Rubalcava. “It also serves the community as a circulation corridor to our beautiful Ventura beaches, and up into the hills of Ojai.”
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the City of Ventura celebrated a nearly $5 million Clean California grant during the community bike ride along the Ventura River Trail. The money will be used to transform a two-mile portion of the trail and is made possible through Governor Gavin Newsom’s Clean California initiative, a sweeping $1.1 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs and engage communities to transform public spaces.
Continuous improvements of the Ventura River Trail include repaving the bike trail, adding solar lighting, and removing and replacing trail fencing. Targeted improvements include accessibility improvements to access the trail, public art, trail monuments, environmental and ‘no litter’ signage, native and drought-tolerant shrub and tree planting, wayfinding to the trail, and other various trail user amenities.
Other improvements will repave two miles of the bike trail, replace fencing, add drought-tolerant landscaping, a water-refill station and a bike repair station. The project will also include art murals on the trail floodwalls that highlight the cultural significance of Ventura’s westside and the greater community. In addition to the trail improvements and public art, the project will include new trash cans and “no littering” signs to reduce trash and debris along the trail.
“All Californians deserve access to clean, beautiful and safe pathways,” said Caltrans Acting Director Steven Keck. “The Ventura River Trail is an invaluable part of California’s transportation network, and Caltrans is proud to fund this project that will beautify this trail and ensure that the trail serves Ventura’s community and visitors for decades to come.”
The Ventura River Trail was built in 1989 and extends approximately six miles along State Route 33. The path connects to the Ojai Valley Trail to the north and the Omer Rains Trail to the south. Together, these three trails comprise the greater Ventura River Parkway.
Through trail infrastructure upgrades, the Ventura River Trail Improvements project is expected to extend the life of the trail by 15 to 30 years. In addition, the project aims to reduce the amount of waste and debris on the trail, beautifying the space for public enjoyment and providing a more equitable space of recreation for the community.
With more than 60 miles of bike lanes, 35 miles of bike routes and paths, and over 400 bicycle lockers for riders to use, the City of Ventura is designated by the League of American Bicyclists as a bronze-rated bicycle friendly community.