City of SLO | Courtesy

The City of San Luis Obispo was selected for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Region 9 Outstanding Bikeways and Trails Project Award for 2022 for the entire state of California.

This recognition comes from the city’s railroad safety trail that spans 1.4 miles long and links different destinations while providing a physically-separated path for those not using vehicles to get around. 

Currently, there are still gaps in the trails that span throughout San Luis Obispo and no defined schedule of when the whole city-wide trail will be complete.

“The trail has provided me with a much safer and faster alternative than riding my bike on the street on my ride to school every day,” industrial packaging and technology junior Ryan Dicks said. “I’ve had to swerve around cars that aren’t looking in the past and it’s caused a lot of trouble for me.”

Based on collision trends and a goal on increasing the percentage of people that bike and walk, the city of San Luis Obispo focuses the transportation project priorities on two main factors– safety and mode shifts.

San Luis Obispo transportation manager Luke Schwartz stated that overall the reaction has been extremely positive.

“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from students and staff that have been commuting to Cal Poly previously,” Schwartz said. “It has eliminated a lot of the stress of traffic heavy streets like California Boulevard.” 

The project is part of a long-term plan for a city-wide trail to connect the city of San Luis Obispo through safe and sustainable bicycle and pedestrian paths. 

Dicks is hopeful that these trails will come soon.

“I think it would be pretty cool to get more dedicated paths because, from a biker’s perspective, it’s hard to navigate around cars on the roadways, and from a driver’s perspective it can sometimes be hard to notice bikers and can cause potential accidents,” Dicks said.

Schwartz was happy to see that the trail was getting recognition.

“Seeing people use these facilities is what is most important,” Schwartz said.

To learn more about the railroad safety trail project or other transportation initiatives in San Luis Obispo, view the city’s active transportation plan on its public works webpage.