Letter regarding Willow Road at Highway 101 redesign

November 7, 2012

Yolanda Rivas, Branch Chief
Division of Environmental Planning & Engineering
Caltrans District 4
111 Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA 94623
VIA EMAIL: yolanda_rivas@dot.ca.gov

Re: Willow Road/Highway 101 interchange

Dear Ms. Rivas:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Caltrans' US Route 101/Willow Road Interchange Project. The mission of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is to promote the bicycle for everyday use. We believe that a reconstructed, bicycle-friendly US Route/Willow Road interchange can help reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and water pollution, as well as provide local residents and commuters with a healthy, economical transportation alternative.

In order to minimize auto traffic and associated environmental impacts, we urge Caltrans to include the consideration of safe and convenient bicycle access where appropriate in the Initial Study/Environmental Assessment (IS/EA) for this project. The recently completed Tully Road/Highway 101 in Santa Clara County incorporated design features to safely accommodate and encourage bicyclists and pedestrians. Similar design features should be considered for Willow/101 as well.

The most important of these design features includes minimizing the number of locations where motorists are required to merge across the path of bicyclists; controlling the turning movements of vehicles with signalized intersections; reducing the curb radius at right turns; reducing vehicle speeds through appropriate geometric design; and including wide (6 to 8 ft), highly-visible, continuous bicycle lanes and corresponding signage.

Of the conceptual designs already developed for Willow/101, we believe that Alternative 4B – Compact Diamond most comprehensively includes the above-described bicycle-friendly design features. We encourage Caltrans to safely accommodate bicyclists on the Willow/101 interchange by modifying this alternative to include wide, highly-visible, continuous bicycle lanes. We also caution against any modification that would allow two lanes of right-turning traffic to enter the Highway 101 on-ramp.

Thank you for considering our input. We look forward to working with Caltrans and the community as this project moves forward.

Sincerely,

Corinne Winter
President and Executive Director

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