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News from the Day 6 route

One of the most beautiful parts of the ride is along the shore near Ventura toward the end of Day 6. (Those of you who rode for the first time in 2009 missed this!) But much of that part of the ride also happens to be on very busy, high-speed U.S. 101. The Ventura County Star reports that some changes are on the way in a couple of years, including a new separate bike path:
Caltrans plans to break ground in 2011 on a new carpool lane for Highway 101 as it passes Mussel Shoals, La Conchita and Rincon Point. The $151 million project will also include a bike path that is separate from the highway lanes, a new walkway under the highway between La Conchita and the beach, and the closing of the left turn lanes in and out of La Conchita and Mussel Shoals.

However, not all is rainbows and happiness. Some residents are unhappy about the possible loss of parking along the highway:
The residents’ biggest concern right now is the California Department of Transportation’s recent decision to move a bike path that’s part of the widening plan from the mountain side to the ocean side of the highway.

Caltrans officials say they would have preferred the bike path to be on the mountain side, but the California Coastal Commission asked them to move it because it wants to encourage development of a network of coastal trails that stretch from Oregon to the Mexican border.

Once construction actually begins, here's hoping that Caltrans keeps the existing bike access fully available. There's no other viable way into Ventura (just look at how the highway is wedged in between the ocean and the mountains), so this is an essential part of the ALC route.

Photo: Day 6 of ALC5

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