The Modesto Junior College Campus Connection is a 2.2 mile on street bike path executed by the City in 2015. It connects the East and West campuses of the college. This bike path provides an innovative solution to transportation barriers and encourages 20,000 MJC students to rely on cycling as an alternative to motorized transportation between campuses. The project is up for a Strong Towns award for strong infrastructure.
The project encountered various barriers. The total project costs would have fallen somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,000,000 to $7,000,000 and with dwindling city budgets, this was a challenge from the beginning. The second obstacle was building a bicycle overpass to cross railroad tracks slated for California high speed rail or highway 99.
This project began to take shape in the fall of 2013 when local bicycle clubs and advocates begun pushing for the completion of this path. Elected officials made it a priority for the City of Modesto and Modesto Junior College.
This 2.3 mile bike path was constructed for approximately $300,000 utilizing slurry seal, striping, concrete parking stops, plastic posts, signage and a little creativity. Staff mapped out a route that would use existing roadways with extra width and capacity where lanes could be reconfigured or removed. This cost effective method did not require reconstruction of the path and utilized existing plans to slurry seal and maintain roadways (restriping and road seal work). The resulting connection is user friendly and a good thing for students, cyclists and the community.
Strong Towns seeks to help cities find answers to complex problems throughout America’s cities, towns and neighborhoods. They seek to discover rational ways to respond to these challenges.