By Thea Skinner

Triplicate staff writer

Bicycle lanes may be added to a portion of U.S. Hwy. 199, a local transportation panel recommended Thursday.

Cycling lanes will be created from Gasquet Flat to Firehouse Road, under a plan that the The Del Norte Local County Transportation Commission's Technical Advisory Committee recommended for approval.

andquot;It could lead to a real identity for Gasquet,andquot; said Ernie Perry, director of the commission's Community Development Department.

Commission Director Tamera Buchanan said, andquot;They (Caltrans) are reducing it for safety concerns. It is in conformance with our bike plan to have a bike pass in that area. It is a minor expense. It will make it clear that drivers do not pass.andquot;

A draft of the Del Norte County and Crescent City 2007 Bicycle Facilities Plan Update also was presented at the meeting. In addition, Yurok Tribal members participated on the committee for the first time Thursday offering suggestions.

The plan includes the addition of rest and shower facilities on county bicycle routes.

The draft document includes andquot;every bike route with figures that show locations and bike facilities,andquot; said George Williamson, principal planner and fire safe council coordinator for Planwest Partners Inc.

The document uses settlement patterns of communities to assess bicycle routes. The Appendix offers a picture book of the routes.

Williamson will distribute a final document of the plan to the commission at a later time.

Caltrans will hold a public meeting about the Gasquet cycle lanes at a later date.

Construction of the bicycle lanes may begin in September, Buchanan said.

Reach Thea Skinner at