Mall-to-Mall Bike Path Wins Support

Thousand Oaks leaders have decided that a proposal to build a bicycle path linking The Oaks mall to the Janss Marketplace is a good idea. Now they have to decide how to pay for it.

The Thousand Oaks City Council on Tuesday night discussed plans for the 10-foot-wide bike path, problems with acquiring the necessary land and possible sources of money.

Council members agreed to approve the bike path in concept, saying it would provide a safe way for senior citizens and children to ride bicycles, but decided to postpone a decision on how to pay for it until their Jan. 31 budget session. They also agreed to allow city officials to perform the title work necessary to acquire the needed land.

City leaders have decided to pursue plans for a bike path despite a refusal by county transportation officials to put more money into the project.

In December, the Ventura County Transportation Commission, which gave Thousand Oaks $125,000 for a bike path six years ago, rejected the city's request for an additional $335,000 to build the path.

City officials said the money for the path could come from the city's Air Quality Impact Mitigation Fund, arguing that the path would reduce commuter traffic. But Councilwoman Elois Zeanah disputed that rationale and said other funds should be considered.

Thousand Oaks has a surplus of about $2 million in its general fund, and part of that could be used to pay for the path, city officials said.

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