Preserve the Modoc Preserve
LIke the cyclist, who wrote last week of a bike collision on Modoc Road, I am a longtime bicyclist. And like Martin Robertson I have ridden Modoc Road thousands of times.
I have always felt safer on that sloping stretch of Modoc than on most other roads, because the bike lane there is quite generously wide. Unfortunately, drivers aren’t always paying attention, but this can happen at a thousand intersections across the city. Modoc is not a notably treacherous route — its collision rate does not rank highly.
Dedicated bike paths are nice, but paving one through a nature preserve at the cost of many trees and the quietude the land now provides, is not worth it. And that is what the proposed Modoc Multi-Use Path will do. The Modoc Preserve is meant to be a respite from the hectic urban world, and a refuge for nature. Having a paved path with e-bikes zipping by at 25+ mph (and trust me, that is what you’ll get) is not conducive to that respite — for either people or wildlife. Nor is it sensible to mow down a scenic row of veteran Canary Island palms in an effort to merely skirt the preserve and widen the already-wide bike lane that exists. The status quo is fully adequate.
We don’t need to wreck a naturally beautiful area to complete some “Grand Plan.” The Modoc Multi-Use Path through the Modoc Preserve is an expensive solution in search of a problem. Save the money, and save the trees.