I’m excited to introduce the new Laguna Bike Map, a guide to riding Laguna’s safe and scenic back roads. I know there has been debate over the safety of biking in our town, but with traffic congestion, parking issues, obesity problems, and an uncertain energy future, we can’t afford not to ride. Plus there are so many psychic pleasures from human powered transport through our gloriously beautiful town. Of course parts of Laguna are too steep. But the flats from North Laguna south to Bluebird Canyon offer an exhilarating mosaic of quaint streets, historic neighborhoods, public art, dramatic views, and beautiful, fragrant landscapes and gardens. All of which offers riders a most stunning assault on their senses, not to mention a healthy, inexpensive way to commute about town.
The multi-dimensional map was designed by local artist Jesse Miller, includes a recommended 7.5-mile tour, and outlines which streets are safe to ride, and which to avoid. We highlight 50 pieces of public art, which can be a fun and educational treasure hunt; 28 historic homes in the public record that illustrate our unique architectural provenance; Transition Laguna gardens, Bluebird Canyon Farms, a solar straw bale home and our Green and Blue Belts, reflecting our city’s strong environmental values.
We have vetted this ride and are confident it is safe, and that cars travel under 25 mph throughout most of it. But nothing will make drivers more cautious around bikers than seeing lots of bikers. So an immediate challenge we have is to install more bike racks. We are woefully bereft, with just four very small ones scattered about downtown. We need more in and around our parks, neighborhoods and beaches. We will be making a concerted effort to galvanize the city, the Arts Commission, and the private sector to fund a number of artistic bike racks that will provide the same form and function as our illustrious art benches. But we need your help to speak up as well. Together we can make Laguna that shining eco city that can serve as a model for sustainable mobility throughout the country.
The maps are available for free in area hotels, at the Visitors Center, and at La Vida Laguna on North Coast Highway at Boat Canyon.