MADERA COUNTY – In an ongoing effort to encourage multi-modal transportation, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will allow cyclists on State Route 41 to cross over the San Joaquin River beginning on Mar. 23.
The previous bike route required cyclists to traverse Woodward Park and Old Highway 41, but construction on the bridge over the San Joaquin River has added to the difficulty of navigating this path. Cyclists now have a more direct route between Fresno and Madera County.
“Caltrans supports all modes of transportation,” said Caltrans District 6 Deputy Director John Liu. “And when there’s a health benefit attached to it like there is with cycling, we are more than happy to facilitate that.”
Cyclists will be required to exit SR-41 once they have crossed the river. From Fresno, cyclists will be able to enter the freeway from the southbound Friant Road on-ramp and must exit at Rio Mesa Boulevard. Cyclists coming from Madera County may enter the freeway from eastbound Children’s Boulevard and must exit at Friant Road.
Signs will be changed to indicate that bicyclists are no longer prohibited from using these on-ramps to enter the freeway, and new signs will show where they must exit. Less-confident cyclists will still be able to use Old Highway 41.
Caltrans marked the occasion with a sign unveiling on Friday, Mar. 23 at 11 a.m. at the northbound SR-41 Friant Road on-ramp, followed by an inaugural ride across the river by local bike enthusiasts.
Motorists are reminded to “Share the Road” with cyclists, especially on narrow thoroughfares where motorists must allow three feet of clearance when passing.